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As of midnight on Tuesday, businesses in northern Manitoba can sell non-essential items.

Dr. Brent Roussin, the chief provincial public health officer, announced on Monday the government would be removing the requirement for businesses to only sell essential items in order to reduce travel to other regions in the province.

Northern Manitoba and Churchill, Man., were excluded from the province’s relaxed public health restrictions, which came into effect last month.

“In the last two weeks we have seen a significant amount of travel from the Northern Health Region to obtain non-essential goods, so a lot of travel from northern communities into Winnipeg especially,” Roussin said.

“So we definitely do not want to see that interprovincial travel, certainly not for non-essential items.”

Stores in northern Manitoba are limited to 25 per cent capacity or 250 people, whichever is lower.

All the other Code Red restrictions, including not allowing hairdressers to reopen, remain in place in northern Manitoba.

MORE FREEDOMS AHEAD?

Roussin noted that for the most part, Manitobans are doing a good job of handling loosened restrictions.

He said if the province’s case numbers continue on this downward trend, more freedoms could possibly be coming soon.

On Monday, the province announced 89 new COVID-19 cases, bringing the total number of active cases to 3,466.

-With files from CTV’s Charles Lefebvre