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April 30, 2020

Closure of Non-Essential Businesses in Manitoba

LAST UPDATED April 30, 2020

The Government of Manitoba has issued an order pursuant to The Public Health Act requiring non-essential businesses to close their doors to the public from 12:01 a.m. on May 4, 2020.

Q: What is a non-essential business?

A: Any business not on the list in the Schedule to this order: The Public Health Act (Section 67), Schedule.

Q: My business is not on the list. Can I continue to operate remotely?

A: Yes. Businesses can provide services online or by telephone, or provide goods by delivery or pick-up, provided access to the premises is not required and persons attending the premises are reasonably able to maintain a separation of at least two metres from other persons.

Q: My business is a restaurant. Can I continue to operate?

A: Yes. If you operate by delivery or pick-up only and take measures to ensure social distancing at the premises. You should reasonably ensure that persons attending your restaurant are able to stay two metres apart.

Q: My business provides car transport to the public. Can I continue to operate?

Yes, provided sanitary measures have been taken to ensure passengers in the vehicle can remain appropriately distant from each other.

Q: My business is not actually a business; it’s a not-for-profit. Does this order apply to us?


Q: Can I check on the premises of my business while it’s closed to the public?

A: Yes. Maintenance, security, compliance with any legal obligation requiring you to be at the premises, and accessing supplies at the office to permit remote operations are all permitted for non-essential businesses.

Q: What is the penalty for breach of the order?

A: For a breach of the Order under The Public Health Act (by, for example, failure to comply with the Order), the penalties are outlined in section 90 of the Act.

An individual who is in breach of the order is liable on summary conviction to a fine of not more than $50,000 and/or imprisonment for a term of not more than six months.

A corporation that is in breach of the order is liable on summary conviction to a fine of not more than $500,000.

The province has amended the Preset Fines and Offence Descriptions Regulation under The Provincial Offences Act to allow enforcement officers to issue tickets with set fines for failure to comply with the emergency orders under The Public Health Act. Effective immediately, fine amounts will be set at $486 for tickets issued to individuals, sole proprietorships and partnerships, and $2,542 for tickets issues to corporations. This would also apply to those who assessable in a public gathering of more than 10 people, including family events.

However, The Public Health Act still allows for the imposition of greater fines (as currently set out above) for people who fail to comply with an order issued under the Act. 

The Province of Manitoba's Multi-Phased Plan to Reopen Businesses 

The Manitoba government’s plan for the reopening of businesses in multiple phases is scheduled to begin on May 4, 2020.  A separate resource with details about the reopening of businesses can be found here

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Resource first posted March 30, 2020, with a report from Gwen Muirhead