COVID-19 has many Maritimers choosing to shop closer to home this season
SYDNEY, N.S. -- Typically this is the time of year when many Maritimers take weekend road trips to do their Christmas shopping.
However, with rising numbers of new COVID-19 cases in some parts of the region, including Halifax, some are deciding to get their shopping done closer to home.
“We always see traditionally, people going to Halifax, trips up for shopping. But I think this year’s going to be different,” says Eldon MacDonald, a Sydney area councillor.
MacDonald says the rising number of COVID-19 cases in the Halifax area has some people thinking twice before hitting the road.
“I think they’ll look at the exposures that are happening in the Atlantic bubble as a whole, but in particular the Halifax region, as something that maybe they just don’t want to take that chance,” says MacDonald.
At one shoe store in downtown Sydney, N.S., some say they don’t plan on going much further for their Christmas shopping this season.
The store’s owner says he and his family just cancelled a get-together in Halifax, which has been their family’s holiday tradition for years.
“Going up and having a big dinner, it’s kind of our pre-Christmas celebration. Almost upwards to 20 people. And this year, we’ve had to cancel it,” says Bruce Meloney.
Meloney says many customers tell him they’ll be shopping local this year.
“They just don’t want to travel. I think there’s a little bit of a fear factor, and really, I do think they just want to support the local people,” says Meloney.
Others point out that as long as travel is allowed throughout the Atlantic bubble, people will still have an element of choice.
“People will choose to live their lives the way they choose to,” says Meloney.
Another ripple effect of the recent spike in parts of the Maritimes, and one that is far reaching.
In an email to CTV News, a spokesperson for the Department of Health and Wellness says Nova Scotians should consider shopping online, or using curbside pickup, instead of shopping in person, and that anyone who plans to shop in person should plan ahead to avoid crowds.