COVID-19: 4 ticketed at Winnipeg Law Courts anti-restrictions rally, province says

Manitoba Justice officials say four tickets were handed out at an anti-restrictions protest held outside the law courts in Winnipeg Monday. Michael Draven/Global News

The province says four tickets totaling just over $5,000 were issued at a rally protesting COVID-19 public health orders held outside the law courts building in Winnipeg Monday.

Winnipeg police say a man was also arrested following what they describe as a minor assault at the event, but he was later released without charges.

Read more: COVID-19: Charges expected after anti-restriction rallies in Winnipeg, Winkler

The rally was organized in support of a court challenge launched by seven Manitoba churches fighting the province’s COVID-19 restrictions.

Manitoba Justice officials say more charges are expected stemming from Monday’s rally, as well as from rallies in Winkler and another in the city held over the weekend.

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Manitoba minister says only God has authority to make people wear masks

“Enforcement officials investigate all public health order violations they are made aware of including large gatherings and rallies,” the province said in a release Tuesday.

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The weekend rally in Winkler led to two tickets, which, like the tickets doled out in Winnipeg Monday, come with a $1,296 fine, the province said.

The two Winkler tickets are among 42 $1,296 fines officials say were given out to individuals caught breaking COVID-19 health orders between April 26 and May 2.

Read more: Forks anti-restrictions rally ticket count now at 20, says province

Of those tickets to individuals, officials say 33 were connected to gatherings held in private residences or outdoors. The other nine were for failing to self-isolate, the province said.

In total, the province said 112 warnings and 58 tickets were handed out last week, including 12 $298 fines for failing to wear a mask in an indoor public place, and four $5,000 tickets that went to businesses.

On Friday the province said  20 of this week’s $1,296 tickets were given out in connection with a large rally held at The Forks April 25.

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COVID-19 case numbers remain high in Manitoba

Current public health orders include a ban on most household social gatherings and a cap of 10 on groups in outdoor public areas.

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Since enforcement started in April 2020 the province says a total of 4,008 warnings and 1,294 tickets have been issued to individuals and businesses, resulting in more than $1.8 million in fines.

Read more: Manitoba reports another COVID-19 variant death, 251 new cases

The province says nearly 3,300 personnel across various agencies are currently able to enforce public health orders.

Since March 2020, 980 Manitobans with COVID-19 have died and 39,814 people have fallen ill from the virus.

Questions about COVID-19? Here are some things you need to know:

Symptoms can include fever, cough and difficulty breathing — very similar to a cold or flu. Some people can develop a more severe illness. People most at risk of this include older adults and people with severe chronic medical conditions like heart, lung or kidney disease. If you develop symptoms, contact public health authorities.

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To prevent the virus from spreading, experts recommend frequent handwashing and coughing into your sleeve. They also recommend minimizing contact with others, staying home as much as possible and maintaining a distance of two metres from other people if you go out. In situations where you can’t keep a safe distance from others, public health officials recommend the use of a non-medical face mask or covering to prevent spreading the respiratory droplets that can carry the virus. In some provinces and municipalities across the country, masks or face coverings are now mandatory in indoor public spaces.

For full COVID-19 coverage from Global News, visit our coronavirus page.

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