SAINT JOHN, N.B. -- I'll Be Home For Christmas is a song many Maritimers won't be singing this year, with COVID-19 travel restrictions in place.

Health-care worker Jessica Savard is among them, she's a respiratory therapist originally from Fredericton now living in Sydney and she wasplanning to go home for the holidays.

"I live alone, my family is back in New Brunswick," Savard said. "I had planned to make the trip home for Christmas, but due to the closure of the Atlantic bubble and New Brunswick requiring a 14-day isolation, I'm not able to do that anymore."

Her family couldcome to Cape Breton, but she says they would have to self-isolate for two weeks upon their return and both situations are simply not feasible.

With only one week until Christmas, health officials are concerned if the rules aren't followed that we could see a spike in cases come January.

Those rules include keeping your circles and gatherings small this season.

"When you get the chance to go virtual, whether that's a faith celebration or a family event, we can still connect with our loved ones, but it's gotta be different this year, it's gotta be smaller," said Jeff Steeves, the New Brunswick Medical Society president.

Dr. Jennifer Russell, New Brunswick's chief medical officer of health, had these words of caution on Thursday.

"I don't think we should be celebrating the holiday season the way we normally do, I think that if we're smart and we're wise, that means that when we are able to gather in large numbers we will all be there to gather together."

Public health officials are reminding New Brunswickers to abide by the pandemic protocols that have been put into place and not try to find any holiday loopholes – so that we can safely come together to celebrate sometime in the future.