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Holiday and Celebration Information


Manitobans continue to have a significant role to play in working together to support public health measures and reduce the spread of COVID-19. This information is intended to update the public on how to enjoy fall holidays and celebrations while reducing the potential spread of COVID-19.

This guidance is intended for individuals; businesses and services must follow the guidance provided in the Restoring Safe Services Plan specific to their facility/sector. Note that public health orders and the Pandemic Response System restrictions may change as the COVID-19 pandemic continues to evolve. Individuals are encouraged to check the Pandemic Response System website for current information.

General Information for Fall 2020

At this time, Manitoba families are encouraged to reduce the number of close contacts outside of their households, and avoid closed-in or crowded spaces.

Manitobans, and those visiting from out of province, are also strongly encouraged to focus on the fundamentals to help stop the spread of COVID-19. This includes:

  • Staying home if you’re sick, even if your symptoms are only mild.
  • Washing/sanitizing your hands frequently.
  • covering your cough.
  •  Practicing physical distancing when you are with people outside of your household.
  • Wearing a mask in indoor public spaces in situations where you cannot physically distance, or as required by public health orders.

For those considering family, workplace or social celebrations, this fall it is recommended to limit holiday gatherings to household members, reduce your number of close contacts and limit the number of gatherings you attend to stop the spread of COVID-19.

Additional measures for those considering seasonal celebrations or family gatherings include:

  • People socializing in-person together are advised to physically distance themselves from members outside of their household, except for brief necessary exchanges.
    • Traditional greetings such as handshakes, kissing and hugging should be avoided.
    • As has always been the case, members of the same household do not need to physically distance from each other.
  • Minimize workplace and other social celebrations and maintain physical distancing.
  • Where possible, plan for all or part of a celebration/gathering to be held outdoors.
  • Where possible, consider virtual gatherings or other contactless celebrations.
  • Everyone attending should self-screen for symptoms using the COVID-19 screening tool or the COVID-19 screening questions before attending an in-person celebration or gathering. Stay home if you are sick.
  • Discourage attendance for people at higher risk of experiencing severe illness.
  • Maintain lists of attendees for 21 days to ensure appropriate public health follow-up can take place if an attendee is exposed to COVID-19 during the celebration or ceremony.

  • Frequently clean and disinfect common touch surfaces (for a listing of Health Canada approved cleaning products and other guidance visit the Manitoba COVID-19 prepare and prevent page)
  • Individuals should wash hands for at least 15 seconds or use an alcohol based hand sanitizer prior to and after eating, and before and after handling food or food packaging.
    • Encourage hand hygiene prior to food service by placing handwashing areas/alcohol-based hand sanitizer near the food service area.
  • Do not share utensils, condiments or other objects. Consider having one individual designated to serve guests food to reduce the sharing of utensils. Or, order individual portions from a restaurant or caterer.

  • Household members who feel unwell should not take part. Use the COVID-19 screening tool or the COVID-19 screening questions before participating in activities.
    • If you start to feel unwell when out, return home as soon as you can.
  • Be aware of local Pandemic Response System levels and consider alternatives to trick or treating as appropriate to help stop the spread of COVID-19.
  • Wash or sanitize your hands frequently.

  • Limit contact with non-household members. Trick-or-treat within your household.
  • Traditional greetings such as handshakes, kissing and hugging should be avoided.
  • Maintain a two-metre distance from people outside of your household or extended household group. Take turns and wait until any group ahead is gone.
  • Decorate your household and yard for distance viewing.

  • Wear a non-medical mask when physical distancing cannot be maintained or is unpredictable.
    • Consider incorporating a non-medical mask into your costume (while making sure your eyes are unobstructed for safety).
    • However, having a costume mask on top of a non-medical mask may not be safe.
    • Wear a non-medical mask to distribute candy.
    • Remember, children under the age of two should not wear a non-medical mask. Click here for more information on proper masks use.

  • Follow proper hand hygiene and respiratory etiquette including:
    • Wash your hands often with soap and water. Scrub for at least 15 seconds.
    • Use a Health Canada-approved alcohol based hand sanitizer when hands are not visibly dirty and handwashing is not possible.
    • Avoid touching your face, mouth, nose and eyes.
    • Cover your coughs and sneezes, and then wash/ sanitize your hands after.

  • Where possible, provide individual contactless candy distribution. Use tools (e.g. tongs) to distribute candy at a distance.
  • Provide individual bags and avoid self-service such as a common candy bowl
  • Supervise, as needed, while maintaining physical distancing
  • Provide wrapped, store bought treats only
  • Indoor or mall-based trick-or-treating is permitted where physical distancing is maintained and shared contact items are minimized or eliminated. Note that changing public health orders and Pandemic Response System may limit or restrict these activities. Check with the site before you make your plans.

  • Consider only planning activities that allow people to continue to maintain physical distancing. Avoid activities where respiratory droplets may be exchanged, such as bobbing for apples.
  • Pumpkin carving and decorating where individual pumpkins and tools are provided and individuals practice good hand hygiene, maintain appropriate physical distancing and adhere to any current gathering size restrictions.
  • A costume parade where physical distancing can be maintained
  • Haunted Houses/Ghost Tours/Corn Mazes/Pumpkin Patches may be permitted, depending on local restrictions under current public health orders and the Pandemic Response System.  However, the following guidelines must be followed:
    • organizers, staff, or attending public must self-screen using the COVID-19 screening tool or the COVID-19 screening questions, and stay home if unwell
    • manage line-ups carefully to ensure physical distancing.
    • minimize time indoors
    • consider online bookings with timed arrivals with flexible cancellation policies
    • consider contactless payment
    • recommend all attendees (e.g. staff, volunteers, public, etc.) wear a non-medical mask, especially indoors
    • follow store/event policy
    • maintain 2 metre distance from persons who are not in your household group
    • employees, for example in haunted houses, must maintain physical distancing from guests
    • provide enough time and space between tour groups to maintain physical distancing
    • clean and disinfect frequently-touched surfaces between groups
    • encourage frequent hand hygiene
    • any food or beverage services must follow the appropriate provincial guidelines
    • any other activities within the event venue must follow the appropriate provincial guidelines