Coronavirus: State of emergency doesn’t mean LCBO, Beer Store, Ontario Cannabis Store are closed

A state of emergency has been called in Ontario in light of the novel coronavirus pandemic, but premier Doug Ford says many places will remain open, including grocery stores, convenience stores, and for some, more importantly, the LCBO, the Beer Store and the Ontario Cannabis Store will be continuing operations.

On Monday, the LCBO put out a tweet saying they had heard concerns from customers, but they would remain open.

“To help ensure a safe shopping experience, we have elevated our cleaning and sanitation protocols in our stores and warehouses and have increased prevention awareness amongst our staff. We want our employees to take care of themselves and, in turn, you.”

The LCBO did not respond to a request for further comment Tuesday, following the announcement of the state of emergency.

The decision to keep liquor stores open in the province was met with mixed reactions.

The Beer Store said they too have enhanced safety measures at their locations in light of COVID-19 fears.

“We have embedded a number of safety controls into our award-winning container recycling program. We will continue to observe and evaluate, and enhancements will be made as required. The Beer Store’s recycling program adheres to extremely strict scientific standards and we will continue to monitor this very closely,” Bill Walker, media relations for the Beer Store said in an emailed statement.

Walker would not comment on any contingency plans for the future if the province decided to close or limit sales of recreational services.

As of Tuesday, The Ontario Cannabis Store will also continue operations.

Over the weekend, The Canadian Press reported that sales of cannabis had seen a huge spike in both Quebec and Ontario.

Ontario Cannabis Store spokesperson Daffyd Roderick said the retailer received almost 3,000 orders on Saturday, an 80 per cent increase over an average Saturday.

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