General Guidance to Limit Transmission in Public Places

Information for Manitobans

General Guidance to Limit Transmission in Public Places

The COVID-19 pandemic has prompted us to reconsider our typical daily practices, including how those practices  may contribute to the transmission of infection in the general public. Many of the measures used to prevent the transmission of COVID-19 can also minimize the risk of transmission of other respiratory illnesses, such as seasonal influenza.

NOTE: In times of increased community transmission and case numbers, public health officials may implement stricter requirements to reduce the spread of the COVID-19 virus. These additional measures may apply regionally or provincially. The online COVID-19 Screening Tool will provide guidance and direction on any new requirements. Public health officials will also provide this guidance during the contact tracing process.

Operators, staff, volunteers, organizers, attendees, clients and patrons who use and visit public places are encouraged to use this guidance to address their settings specific needs, while continuing to follow current Public Health Orders, which are subject to change. 

We can all lower our risk and help reduce the spread of COVID-19 and other respiratory viruses in Manitoba by focusing on the fundamentals:

For more information on symptoms and testing guidance, use the COVID-19 Screening Tool

  • Follow current Public Health Orders, including proof of vaccination requirements, gathering or capacity restrictions and masking requirements.
  • People at higher risk of serious illness should consider waiting to return to group activities until two weeks after they have received their last dose of COVID-19 vaccine.
    • In settings where attendance cannot be delayed, consider using other measures such as limiting group sizes, increasing physical distance and wearing a mask to reduce the risk for those at higher risk.
  • Consider non-contact payment options and allow customers to scan their own credit cards and loyalty cards wherever possible.
  • Individuals who handle cash or credit cards should practice frequent and proper hand hygiene.
    • When their hands are not visibly soiled, and between customer interactions, alcohol based hand sanitizer can be used, if soap and water is unavailable.
    • If their hands are visibly soiled, hands should be washed with soap and water for minimum of 15-20 seconds.
  • Businesses should consider offering online or telephone orders with delivery or pick up services as alternatives to shopping in person.
  • Ventilation has an important role in reducing transmission of COVID-19 indoors. Operators of indoor facilities should ensure that ventilation systems are functioning optimally. This may include consulting an HVAC professional, as the most appropriate measures will vary depending on the characteristics of the room/ facility. One simple way to increase ventilation is by opening windows, if possible. For more information visit the Public Health Agency of Canada’s Guidance on Indoor Ventilation during the Pandemic website.
    • If sharing a vehicle don’t recirculate air, and consider opening a window to increase ventilation.
  • Industry specific guidance, including restaurants, construction and tourism can be found here.

  • Respect capacity limits and indoor/ outdoor gathering limits as detailed in the current public health orders.
  • Provide enough space, where required, to allow for minimum physical distancing of two metres (six feet) between attendees, and where possible between individuals.
  • Control access points (i.e. entrances/ exits) to allow for managing capacity limits and display signs to direct flow of traffic to limit congestion and exposures as much as possible. Identify and put in control measures in areas where people are most likely to congregate.
  • Place signage throughout the site to remind operators, staff, volunteers, organizers, attendees, clients and patrons of physical distancing measures, hand hygiene, masking requirements and cough etiquette.
  • Include signage on screening for symptoms at entrances. For printable signs and other communications materials visit
  • Wear a mask when social (physical) distancing is not possible (e.g. in crowded settings, in shared vehicles or on public transport), or where required. See Health Canada’s website for more information on face masks.

The most reliable way to prevent infection from surfaces is to regularly wash hands with soap and water or use alcohol-based hand sanitizer.  Operators, staff, volunteers, organizers, attendees should continue to practice proper hand hygiene and cough etiquette including:

  • Hand soap and alcohol based hand sanitizer must be dispensed in disposable pump/squirt containers that are not topped up to prevent contamination. It is recommended they not be reused.
  • Place hand sanitizer, with a minimum of 60 per cent alcohol, in dispensers near doors, pay stations and other high-touch locations for operators, staff, volunteers, organizers, attendees and customers. If these are not available, attendees should be encouraged to bring their own.
  • Ensure employee and public washrooms are always well stocked with liquid soap and paper towels and that warm running water is available. Proper hand washing with liquid soap is effective in preventing the spread of COVID-19.
  • As an alternative to approved hand sanitizer, you can provide portable hand wash stations at entrances to facilities. However, these hand wash stations must be regularly maintained to ensure supplies such as liquid soap, paper towels and water do not run out.
  • Waste bins for used paper towels also need to be emptied and maintained, as required.
  • Cough etiquette includes, coughing or sneezing into a tissue, then immediately disposing of the tissue and performing hand hygiene.
    • If tissues are not available, coughing or sneezing into their upper sleeve, not hands.
  • Consider placing hand hygiene and cough etiquette posters around the facility/ site to increase public awareness. Posters available for download include:
  • Hand Hygiene posters
  • Cough Etiquette posters

It is possible for people to become infected with COVID-19 if they touch surfaces where the virus has landed and then touch their nose, mouth, or eyes. In most situations, the risk of infection from touching a surface is low and not the primary way COVID-19 is spread. 

  • Enhance your cleaning plan and schedule. Increase cleaning and disinfection of commonly contacted areas.
    • Develop and post a cleaning and disinfection schedule to ensure commonly touched surfaces, including washrooms, are adequately cleaned and disinfected.
    • More frequent cleaning and disinfecting might be needed when the space is occupied by young children, large groups, or others who may not consistently wear masks, perform hand hygiene, or cover coughs and sneezes. If the space is a high traffic area, you may also choose to clean and disinfect more frequently. 
  • Common touch areas include locations that are accessible to operators, staff, volunteers, organizers, attendees and customers. Surfaces in these locations should be cleaned and disinfected at least twice a day, or as needed using:
    • Use diluted household chlorine bleach i.e. 20 milliliters (four teaspoons) for every litre of water.  Allow solution to contact surface for at least 10 minutes.  Rinse well and air dry or follow the manufacturers’ instructions, OR
    • Use alcohol solutions with at least 60 per cent alcohol and follow the manufacturers’ instructions, OR
    • Use Health Canada approved disinfectants and follow the manufacturers’ instructions.  A list of approved disinfectants can be found on Health Canada's website.
  • Ensure cleaning staff are trained on proper steps for cleaning and disinfecting surfaces. 
    • Always follow directions on the product label when using these products. 
    • Use personal protective equipment (PPE) such as gloves, glasses or goggles if required based on the risks when using those chemical products.
    • Ensure thorough hand hygiene before and after each change of PPE such as gloves.
  • Signage encouraging hand hygiene before and after cleaning and disinfecting should be posted nearby.
  • Ensure adequate ventilation is available when using cleaning and disinfecting products.  
  • Cleaning and disinfection supplies should be available for any common use item or frequently touched surfaces.
    • Shared personal equipment should be cleaned and disinfected after each use. If shared personal equipment cannot be cleaned and disinfected between uses it should not be used.

Put plans in place for increased employee or attendee absences because of illness or isolation requirements, and have a facility illness policy. Consider the following:

  • Ensure any staff or members of the public with COVID-19 like symptoms such as sore throat, fever, sneezing, or coughing, even if symptoms are only mild, stay at home until
    • they have a negative test, or
    • if not tested, they isolate for 10 days and
    • their symptoms have resolved for 24 hours
    • Manitoba’s COVID-19 self-assessment screening tool can help determine if an illness may be COVID-19. The tool provides people with next steps, depending on their responses. This tool can be found at
  • Support individuals who have to self-isolate due to exposures or illness. Ensuring these individuals isolate at home away from the workplace or public setting will assist in lowering your risk of an outbreak occurring in your facility. If possible, create policies to support working from home, or allow flexibility with program schedules for attendees, or alternatives to attendance.
  • Have a plan for individuals who develop symptoms in the facility. If an employee or member of the public leaves the site because of illness, their work areas should be cleaned and disinfected.
  • Public health may have additional guidance for household members of symptomatic people to also self-isolate during times of high COVID-19 transmission.
  • Consider privacy and confidentiality issues when managing communicable diseases in the facility.
  • Establish processes to monitor and communicate with employees and the public.

Public facilities should reassess their environment every day and keep updated with the information posted on Additional COVID-19 information, including general advice, signs and symptoms, workplace guidance, and inquiry lines can be found below.