How Manitoba businesses are dealing with the province's proof of vaccination requirement

The province's new health orders went into effect Friday, meaning it's the first weekend many businesses are implementing the need to show proof of vaccination.

Manitobans now need to be fully vaccinated if they want to participate in certain activities, including indoor and outdoor ticketed events, indoor and outdoor dining, nightclubs and bars, casinos, bingo halls and VLT lounges, movie theatres and gyms.

Bruce Gouriluk, the owner of Big Guys Ranch and Saloon, said Friday was the first day he had to check if people were fully vaccinated before they could come in.

He said the new process was easy to implement.

"A month ago or so, we were doing the contact tracing and the ID checking, and we were also checking the QR codes then, so it wasn't a lot to prepare for."

Gouriluk said the people who came through his doors on Friday complied with the news rules.

"Everybody was pretty much double vaxxed. We had one table that came in, and they didn't have any cards, and they just left. They were pretty cool about it. The other part was just showing people how to get (the QR code) on their phones."

Cinematheque Theatre in the Exchange District reopened to the public last month. Interim Executive Director David Knipe said the theatre was already in line with the new rules.

"When we reopened August 13, we decided to implement a mask mandate and vaccination proof for all admissions to our theatre at that point. So nothing's changed for us."

Knipe said there are also two seats between each patron because the theatre is a small space and they wanted to make sure everyone inside felt comfortable.

"If we think things are going well and people are feeling comfortable with it and the numbers are keeping low, we'll reduce that to a one-seat gap," said Knipe.

Chuck Davidson, president and CEO of The Manitoba Chambers of Commerce, said some customers haven't been compliant with the new regulations, and it puts staff in a difficult situation.

"Too often, I've heard from restaurants or other businesses that have been bullied and berated by the people opposed to the restrictions," said Davidson.

"These restrictions are made by the provincial government and public health officials, not by the server or hostess at your local restaurant."

Gouriluk said the best thing customers can do is be ready when they walk in the door.

"Have your QR code ready on your phone and a piece of photo ID, so we know who you are, and it's food and drinks after that."

Museums and galleries will also be allowed to reopen on September 7 but will have to check if people are fully vaccinated if they want to access indoor areas.