Circuit-breaker measures in New Brunswick raise concerns for businesses over crucial Christmas season
While leaves are still falling off the trees, the circuit-breaker extension has some regions of New Brunswick concerned for the holiday season.
"Enough is enough. If we want a Christmas, if we want to see our families at Christmas, stay home,” said Campbellton Mayor Ian Comeau.
That's the response to the extension of a circuit-breaker in some New Brunswick regions, Zone 5, the Campbellton region, has been extended for 14 days.
"The thing that's going to happen is that these rules, these new restrictions is going to be followed by the people that believe strongly that there is COVID, and the people that think this is just a hoax are not going to follow it," Comeau said.
In the Moncton region as far north as Sainte-Anne-de-Kent and including Havelock in Zone 2; and parts of Zone 3 including Deerville and Florenceville-Bristol, and all of the Edmundston region, has had the circuit-breaker extended for seven days.
"A lot of smaller business are really relying on a robust holiday shopping season and the later we go into the fall with the circuit-breaker the more damage that can potentially be done to them at this time of year, so that's why it's so important that we try to get this under control," said John Wishart, CEO of Moncton Chamber of Commerce.
If the circuit-breaker extension doesn't do its job, it has people concerned.
"With the holidays approaching it is becoming more increasing in challenge trying to shop around. A lot of stores have things picked over already now and the option of trying to go to neighbouring communities like Fredericton or Saint John or even an hour down the road to Amherst is impossible right now," said Greg Campbell, who lives in Moncton.
According to the premier, the circuit-breaker has been effective so far.
"The case counts are high per capita and we've seen an impact from the other areas that we've put the circuit-breaker in place. We've seen a positive kind of trend reversal which is encouraging," said Premier Blaine Higgs.
Yet, with recent the case counts and deaths, including five reported today, only time will tell.