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Maritime weddings cancelled amid COVID-19 pandemic impacts many, says N.S. florist

Global News logo Global News 2020-04-06 Shelley Steeves
a person sitting at a table with a christmas tree: Neville MacKay, owner of My Mother's Bloomers flower shop in Halifax. © Shelley Steeves/Global News Neville MacKay, owner of My Mother's Bloomers flower shop in Halifax.

Couples across the Maritimes are having to cancel their wedding plans due to the outbreak of COVID-19.

Neville MacKay owns My Mother's Bloomers flower shop in Halifax and said he has already had couples cancel their orders for weddings that were supposed to take place this spring and summer. He said it is impacting his business as well as others in the industry.

READ MORE: After 3 wedding cancellations due to COVID-19, Edmonton couple ties the knot at home

"There is that whole systemic thing that now the growers have to throw the flowers away and they are not growing as many so we are having to worry about the next events coming along as well," said MacKay.

"It's a little upsetting to postpone," said Jessica Belliveau of Moncton, who said she was booked to be married in July. Last week, she said that she and her fiance decided to postpone their nuptials due to the pandemic.

With the New Brunswick border closed to non-essential travel and the call for mandatory social distancing to help prevent the spread of the virus, she said that moving ahead with their plans just didn't make sense.

"We do have people that are coming from out of province as a well as out of the country and we definitely wanted those people to be there for our day," said Belliveau.

Meanwhile, MacKay is expecting to get more cancellations in the coming weeks as the wedding season approaches. He says he is working with couples who want to rebook to a later date and will provide a refund if requested.

He that some people have questioned why he has chosen to keep his flower shop open amid the outbreak, saying that is not an essential service. But he said sending flowers is a way for family members to reach out to loved ones who they cannot be with amid the pandemic.

"I had someone who ordered flowers for their mother who was in palliative care and they couldn't go and see her on her last few days but she loved flowers so they sent their love that way," he said.

He says he'll continue to help people send "floral hugs" from afar for as long as the pandemic persists.

Questions about COVID-19? Here are some things you need to know:

Health officials caution against all international travel. Returning travellers are legally obligated to self-isolate for 14 days, beginning March 26, in case they develop symptoms and to prevent spreading the virus to others. Some provinces and territories have also implemented additional recommendations or enforcement measures to ensure those returning to the area self-isolate.

Symptoms can include fever, cough and difficulty breathing — very similar to a cold or flu. Some people can develop a more severe illness. People most at risk of this include older adults and people with severe chronic medical conditions like heart, lung or kidney disease. If you develop symptoms, contact public health authorities.

To prevent the virus from spreading, experts recommend frequent handwashing and coughing into your sleeve. They also recommend minimizing contact with others, staying home as much as possible and maintaining a distance of two metres from other people if you go out.

For full COVID-19 coverage from Global News, click here.

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