The Manitoba review board on Thursday ruled that Vince Li, who is being treated at a mental facility after beheading a man on a Greyhound bus four years ago, be allowed to make supervised visits into the community.

The board said Li should be allowed to make excursions into the community of Selkirk initially for 30 minutes, but eventually for full days, The Canadian Press reports.

Li, 44, has been under treatment at the Selkirk Mental Health Centre ever since he was diagnosed with schizophrenia and found not criminally responsible for stabbing, beheading and cannibalizing Tim McLean, 22, in July of 2008.

According to the ruling, Li must be accompanied by a staff member and a security officer at all times and must only be allowed visits if doctors deem it would be "appropriate and safe for him to leave the locked ward."

The passes can be issued as of May 24.

On Monday, doctors at the mental health centre told the criminal review board that Li has made great progress and that his risk of ever re-offending is only about 1 per cent.

Chris Summerville, head of the Schizophrenia Society of Canada, said earlier this week that the public should not be concerned about Li.

"I'm not concerned at all," he said, adding that he would invite Li over "if he wanted to come and visit me and walk with me ..."

McLean's mother, Carol de Delley, told CTV News Channel that she is not surprised by the decision.

She said she believes the latest ruling is a step towards Li's ultimate freedom and she fears that Li will one day re-offend.

"It's possible. He could go off his meds. We know what happened last time he did. And at the end of the day, who then would be held responsible? Nobody."

If it were up to De Delley, Li "would never walk free again. He would remain in a locked facility for criminally insane individuals."