Christmas gatherings have been cancelled in Alberta.
Premier Jason Kenney spoke at a live press conference on Tuesday to inform the province of newer, and stricter, COVID-19 restrictions as case numbers continue to increase.
Among the measures was a ban on all social gatherings, both indoor and outdoor, as well as a word on what the Christmas season will look like in Alberta amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
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“For many of us — I suspect most Albertans — Christmas is the most important time of the year. It’s the symbolic heart of family life and of treasured memories. And Lord know we all need the loving presence of family and friends at the end of this terrible year, now more than ever,” said Kenney.
“But here’s the hard truth: Clearly, the biggest single source of viral transmission is at home gatherings. It’s when people let their guard down, when we relax with people that we are close to, when transmission most easily happens, and so if we relax the public health measures to permit large family gathering in just three weeks time, we will without a shadow of a doubt see a large increase in hospitalizations and fatalities.”
The newly imposed public health measures go into effect either immediately for restrictions on social gatherings and a province-wide mask mandate or on Sunday for restaurant, business, and service closures.
All the newly announced restrictions will be in place for at least four weeks, stated Kenney.
“We simply cannot let this Christmas turn into a tragedy for many families,” he said.
“So, with great reluctance, we are asking Albertans to limit their holiday gatherings to the members of their household or to two close contacts for people who live by themselves.”