There’s no traffic jams, or long lines at the coffee shop and many bars and restaurants around Winnipeg have closed their doors to help slow the spread of COVID-19.
It’s exactly what health officials have been urging Manitobans to do… stay home, especially if you’ve just returned from travelling.
“All international travellers must self-isolate for 14 days upon return to Canada,” Chief Provincial Public Health Officer Dr. Brent Roussin reiterated yet again Thursday.
“I can’t emphasize the importance of this enough.”
However, beyond asking people to stay home and abide by these guidelines, the province doesn’t really have a way of enforcing and policing the hundreds of people who have arrived off international flights over the past week.
“Public Health could be contacted and this is a time we could all come together, maybe they haven’t heard the messaging,” Dr. Roussin said. “These are difficult times, we understand that. So now is not the time to try to separate ourselves.”
It’s left many frustrated Manitobans reaching out to Global News to ask what can be done if people fail to comply and where they can go to let the province know if someone isn’t following the guidelines.
The answer – there isn’t much you can do.
“Some people think that their vigilance should also include, as you say, ratting out other people who aren’t following the rules,” Health Minister Cameron Friesen said.
“And we see some of that social shaming activity going on in online mediums as well. I think at this point we’re calling for cooperation.
“We have not contemplated, at this moment, any exceptional measures, but I would say everything’s on the table.”
Over the past few days, B.C., Alberta, Ontario and New Brunswick have declared states of emergency.
Friesen said the province isn’t ruling out a full lockdown of Manitoba either.
“All options are on the table as things develop.”