Manitoba’s top doctor is warning residents that Valentine’s Day this year will be unlike past celebrations, and knows it will be difficult for people.

During Monday’s COVID-19 update, Dr. Brent Roussin, Manitoba’s chief provincial public health officer, was asked to provide tips for Manitobans wondering if they can get together on the Valentine’s Day weekend.

Under Manitoba’s proposed changes to public health orders, restaurants would be able to reopen at 25 per cent capacity, but indoor service would be limited to household contacts, meaning single people who are in a relationship with someone but not living together are excluded.

Roussin said the proposed public health order changes are to keep the number of contacts to a minimum and help reduce the spread of COVID-19 as more places reopen.

“We don’t want to have a number of contacts all of a sudden out in the community, or we’re just going to be back (to where we were) in November,” Roussin said. “So certainly that makes things more difficult for people who don’t live with anyone, or who wanted to spend that time with people who are not in their household.”

Roussin said while the province is proposing reopening restaurants, he said “prolonged indoor contact” is where COVID-19 thrives, so they want to be cautious.

Only two designated people can currently visit Manitoba households, and a maximum of five people, plus household members, can gather outdoors.

Roussin was also asked about valentines being handed out in schools, and said the cards are “relatively low-risk.”

“Overall, if we could just limit the amount of unnecessary risk we take, I think it would probably be best to not have widespread sharing of items, if at all possible,” he said, though he added educators have done a good job to help minimize the spread of COVID-19 in schools.