CARSTAIRS/CREMONA - New COIVD-19 restrictions now in place for enhanced status communities are having impacts across the region, say officials.
Enhanced status communities include Mountain View County and all the urban communities geographically located within it -- Sundre, Didsbury, Carstairs, and Cremona -- except for Olds. Olds is under a separate relaunch status because of its population. Communities smaller than 10,000 are included in the surrounding municipal district.
Under new mandatory measures for enhanced communities, there is a 15-person limit on family and social gatherings, a 50-person limit on wedding ceremonies and funeral services, and all faith-based organization attendance is limited to one-third capacity.
Town of Carstairs Mayor Lance Colby said he hopes people will respect the need to stay within smaller groups.
“I understand it is hard, but I respect that it has to be done,” said Colby. “I just hope people understand what has to be done. It is better if we be socially aware of what we are doing.
“I think you have to stay with the group that you are with and that means not bringing a whole bunch of people in and having parties, because that seems to be where some of the spreading is coming from.”
Also for enhanced status communities, mask use is encouraged in all indoor work settings, except when alone in a workspace or where an appropriate barrier is in place, and there is also a limit of three cohorts.
Employers in office settings are supposed to implement strategies to reduce the number of employees in the workplace at one time.
For two weeks, it is mandatory that bars, restaurants, lounges and pubs in enhanced status areas are required to stop liquor sales by 10 p.m. and close by 11 p.m.
Gerry Neilon is the owner of the Cremona Hotel. He expects having to close down liquor sales by 10 p.m. will have an impact on his bottom line.
“It is going to affect us,” said Neilon. “Once you take away that 10 to midnight time, it’s an important part of our business. We usually have last call at 2 a.m. so it is definitely going to make an impact on us.”
Local sports teams often frequent the bar after 10 p.m. when they finish their games and practices, he said.
“I hope (new restrictions) only lasts the two weeks,” he added. “We are going to be a team player in it.”