Canadian News Nov 19, 2020 8:17 PM EST

BREAKING: Manitoba government forces retailers to block off access to non-essential items in new measures

Businesses will have to remove public access to items deemed non-essential by the province by 12:01 am on November 21.

BREAKING: Manitoba government forces retailers to block off access to non-essential items in new measures
Roberto Wakerell-Cruz Montreal, QC
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Manitoba will implement public health orders that will crack down on what stores can sell, and customers can buy.

Businesses will have to remove public access to items deemed non-essential by the province by 12:01 am on November 21.

"Some Manitobans and unfortunately some retailers as well are going against the spirit of [the public health guidelines,] and thus they are creating a greater risk to public safety," said Manitoba Premier Brian Pallister.

Non-essential items will be sectioned off from stores so that customers can not purchase them. Non-essential items will also be unable to be cashed out by a cashier.

The drastic measures are a part of what Pallister called "New capacity limits and ensuring that only essential items are purchased in-person."

"We're asking Manitobans to hear these extremely strict restrictions and follow them without the threat of enforcement. These orders are really in place ultimately to save Manitoban's lives," said Manitoba medical officer Brent Roussin.

"Items deemed essential include winter wear such as jackets and boots, food, child care items and accessories for babies, mobility devices, pet food, face masks, and other personal protective equipment.

"We advised strongly to only go to the store for absolute essentials... despite that, we saw people gathering at rallies, we saw crowded parking lots, people going out for non essential items. So we're left with no choice but to announce further measures to protect Manitobans," said Roussin.

Similar measures have been taken in the United States. Michigan, for example, forced Walmart, Costco, Target and other large retailers to block parts of their stores to stop customers from being able to purchase "non essential items."

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