Easier Access to Booze

Ontario will allow stores to reopen for curbside pickups today, and allows price reductions.

Ontario is slowly opening up for business after almost two months of being locked down.

Premier Doug Ford said that all retail stores with a street entrance can reopen today to provide curbside pickup and delivery.

“As the trends improve, we can move forward with reopening more and more of our economy and getting people back to work,” the premier said last week.

Ontario’s chief medical officer said store openings for curbside pickup could pose challenges in downtown Toronto, where retailers are often bunched closely together. “It's going to take some creativity,” said Dr. David Williams, suggesting stores should have customers call in for appointment times so they don't bunch up outside, and that shoppers consider wearing masks.

Clearly not worried by possible increased booze consumption during lockdown, the government has also further liberalized Ontario’s liquor laws as a prescription for helping an ailing restaurant sector stricken by the pandemic and has even lowered the minimum price that restaurants and bars are allowed to sell gin, rum, tequila, vodka, and whiskey. Time for another Quarantini?

At the same time, the provincial licensing agency extended measures that allow restaurants and bars to sell beer, wine, and spirits 'to go' with takeout meals until the end of this year.

That provision was put in place on March 26, a little more than a week after Ontario was placed in a state of emergency, which restricted restaurants and bars to serving food for takeaway only.

During the emergency that was declared March 17, supermarkets, pharmacies, and liquor and beer stores have been the only retailers allowed to fully serve the public.