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Winnipeg pub turning away out-of-town customers over coronavirus concerns

King’s Head Pub turning away out-of-town customers not following health guidelines
King's Head Pub in Winnipeg’s Exchange District has been turning away dozens of customers because they aren’t following Manitoba Health guidelines. Joe Scarpelli reports.

A pub in Winnipeg’s Exchange District has been turning away dozens of customers because they aren’t following Manitoba Health guidelines.

The owner of the King’s Head Pub, Chris Graves, told 680 CJOB he’s been asking everyone who enters the premises for ID, because over the last few weeks, he’s seen people from southern Ontario, Florida and even Germany who have tried to enter his establishment.

Graves said he turned away 20 people on Sunday alone because he wasn’t convinced they were following quarantine procedures after travelling to Manitoba amid the coronavirus pandemic.

“If you have not proven that you’ve been able to quarantine for 14 days from those provinces that are allowed, or from different areas that are allowed in Manitoba as well, we are actually not allowing you into the King’s Head Pub,” he said.

“Just over the weekend we had two people from Florida that had flown in to Manitoba and tried to get into the King’s Head.”

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Read more: Ontario township mayor hoping to see influx of tourists as Manitoba moves to Phase 3 of reopening

When Manitoba’s Phase 3 of reopening came into effect last month, the province dictated new travel guidelines — including rules indicating how far you can travel outside the province without having to self-isolate upon return.

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The eastern limit is the community of Terrace Bay, Ont., a township on the north shore of Lake Superior with a population of just over 1,600.

Graves said it’s been difficult to confirm whether out-of-province visitors have actually self-isolated as required.

The pub’s owner said he wants to report the scofflaws, but while he can prevent them from coming into the pub, he can’t force them to let him document their ID.

“When we actually tried to take a picture of their ID, to call Manitoba Health, they would not allow us to do that. There’s no guidance from the province of Manitoba… They want us to report these things, but I can’t legally retain someone’s ID.”

Manitoba’s total number of lab-confirmed and probable coronavirus cases reported since March sits at 343 after seven new cases were identified over the weekend — six of which were reported Sunday.

Experts have cautioned Manitobans not to get complacent about COVID-19, especially after the province’s 13-day streak without any new cases — which ended last week.

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“(If you’re showing symptoms) you need to self-isolate and warn other people,” epidemiologist Cynthia Carr of EPI Research told 680 CJOB on the weekend.

“Things escalate so quickly. We’re not going to break the chain of transmission and stop the spread unless we get the reproduction rate under 1.

“We can’t let down our guard with this virus, which is sneaky and can show up 10 to 14 days after you’re infected — if at all.”

King’s Head Pub on bars reopening
King’s Head Pub on bars reopening