County of Grande Prairie Reeve Leanne Beaupre is more than hopeful that residents across the region will take the latest COVID-19 restrictions from the province to heart, despite them throwing a wrench in the holiday season.

With over 130 active cases in the Peace Region as of December 9th, Beaupre says it shouldn’t have come as a surprise to anyone in the province that harsher restrictions, including the banning of all indoor and outdoor gatherings coming down the pipe.

“I believe the province and Alberta Health gave us fair warning if people didn’t comply with the earlier restrictions and protocols that Alberta Health set out,” she says.

She adds whilst the region maybe a little more sparsely populated than other sections of the province, it’s up to everyone in the area to not only take this seriously for their health, but also the health and wellbeing of loved ones.

“The County of Grande Prairie, in retrospect, is less dense, especially for population, but that doesn’t mean that the virus won’t respect distances. I think it’s important that families respect with the premier and Dr. Hinshaw have outlined.”

“We are all in this together, we might be in it at a different level, but if we do our part, we can hopefully get through Christmas, and at that point, I believe they’ve been told there are vaccinations on their way,” she adds.

Beaupre says while the last 9 months have been a struggle, in several aspects, for everyone, knowing that there is a light at the end of the tunnel is as uplifting a piece of news as they’ve heard all year.

As of Sunday morning, restaurants, bars, pubs, lounges, and cafes will be closed for in-person service, with take-out, curbside, and home delivery still permitted.

Personal & wellness services such as hair salons, nail salons, tattoo parlours, massage businesses also closed their doors to the public as part of the new wave of restrictions. The province says they will be in place for no fewer than four weeks.