Gatherings held despite Manitoba COVID-19 rules resulted in 88 tickets last week, province says

Last week 102 tickets were handed out for breaking Manitoba's COVID-19 rules, the province says. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Graham Hughes

The Manitoba government says 102 tickets were issued for violations of COVID-19 public health orders last week, the vast majority going to those caught holding gatherings currently banned under the rules.

There were 96 fines of $1,296 issued to individuals doled out between May 17 and May 23. Officials say 88 of those were connected to gatherings in private residences or outdoors.

Read more: COVID-19: Manitoba expands 2nd dose vaccine booking eligibility

Another three tickets went to individuals caught not isolating, two were for unnecessary northern travel, and three were to sole proprietorships.

Twenty-two of the tickets were issued in relation to anti-restriction rallies in Winnipeg earlier in the month, and follow dozens of tickets issued in the previous two weeks stemming from those same rallies, the province said.

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“All events remain under investigation and additional charges are expected,” the province said in a Wednesday release.

“Officials advise the choice to defy public health orders is a serious offence and violators will be held to account.”

Read more: Manitoba premier says sorry after unparliamentary language directed at opponent

Meanwhile, six $298 tickets were given out to people not wearing a mask in an indoor public place.

Since enforcement started in April 2020, the province says a total of 4,358 warnings and 1,526 tickets have been issued to individuals and businesses, resulting in more than $2.1 million in fines.

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Earlier this month the province announced it would begin issuing double fines for repeat offenders caught breaking COVID-19 public health orders.

Read more: Premier announces doubling of COVID fines, 5-day sick leave benefit for Manitoba

An extra $100 default convection penalty is also added to unpaid fines, and the province warns those who don’t respond to tickets will be prohibited from renewing a driver’s license or vehicle registration until the ticket is paid.

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

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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