Manitoba health officials are bringing in new orders for licensed premises, such as bars, in Winnipeg this week.
Starting on Oct. 7, new rules about selling liquor in licensed premises and restricting hours on dine-in services will take effect in the Winnipeg Metropolitan Region.
The regulations were created following discussions with the restaurant and food industry, said Dr. Brent Roussin, Manitoba's chief provincial public health officer, on Monday.
The regulations include stopping the sale and service of liquor at licensed premises between 10 p.m. and 9 a.m., and all members of the public must vacate the businesses by 11 p.m. Restaurants and bars must be closed for dine-in service between 11 p.m. and 6 a.m.
"Our cases and contacts have occurred later on in the evening, and I think later on, if there is more alcohol being consumed, (there is) less attention to safeguards," Roussin said. "It's really where our (epidemiology) has pointed us right now, so that's where we are going to try and target it."
Roussin said he knows the restrictions will bring challenges to businesses, but he said owners acknowledge that something needed to be done, given the rise in COVID-19 cases.
"It's certainly a challenge for the sectors, but I think most people wanted to be part of the solution," he said.
The new orders do not prevent food from being sold after 11 p.m. for take-out or delivery and do not apply to liquor retail.
Staff also needs to get contact information in writing from at least one person in each party attending the premises and must keep the information for 21 days. The information must be destroyed after 21 days.
Tables and seating cannot be moved at the business.
Seating capacity at any tables must not exceed 10 people, and food cannot be served buffet style.
The restrictions will remain in place while the Winnipeg Metropolitan Region is in the orange level.
Roussin said enforcement of the new orders will be conducted by public health inspectors, as well as inspectors with Manitoba Liquor, Gaming, and Cannabis.