COVID-19 Requirements for Retailers by Region

RCC has assembled a chart of regulations and health and safety guidelines for retailers who are reopening or continuing to open during COVID-19.

Information includes:

  • Maximum number of people in store/ physical distancing requirements
  • Personal Protective Equipment required
  • Any rules in place for customer or employee screening
  • Rules in place for returns, fitting rooms, bagging and bulk bins

Health and safety requirements by region

Updated January 20, 2022

Retailers considered “essential”/
allowed to open:

  • All
  • Bars and nightclubs without full meal service are required to be closed.

Maximum number of people in store/ physical distancing requirements:

  • Businesses are required to have COVID-19 safety plans in place. These plans must be posted in store and online.

Personal Protective Equipment required:

  • Masks are required in ‘indoor public spaces’ such as retail stores, and when not seated in restaurants. In restaurant and pub settings, where food and beverage is served and consumed at tables, or in certain meetings, events and conferences, proof of vaccination is required.
  • As of January 7, 2022, all businesses are required to have a COVID-19 Workplace Safety Plan.


Employee screening:

  • Employee screening is at the employer’s discretion.


Customer screening
:

  • Customer screening is at the discretion of the individual business. In restaurant and pub settings, where food and beverage is served and consumed at tables, or in certain meetings, events and conferences, proof of vaccination is required.


Returns
:

  • Returns are allowed.


Fitting rooms
:

  • There are no requirements regarding fitting rooms as of July 1, 2021.


Reusable bags/ bagging
:

  • Reusable bags are recommended. Best practice is to post signage asking customers to wash reusable bags regularly.  Local shopping bag bylaws must be observed.


Bulk bins
:

  • Bulk bins are allowed.


Guidance documents:


Travel restrictions (regional):

  • B.C. currently welcomes visitors to B.C. although non-essential travel to and within the Northern Health Region is strongly discouraged. The Provincial Health Officer recommends that non-vaccinated people considering coming to British Columbia receive vaccinations before coming to B.C.

Updated January 17, 2022

Retailers considered “essential”/
allowed to open:

  • All retailers are permitted to open.


Maximum number of people in store/ physical distancing requirements:

  • Retail stores across the province (all regions) are permitted to operate at 33% of fire code allowance.


Personal Protective Equipment required:

  • Non-medical masks or face coverings are required under a Health Order and retail stores are expected to post signage and remind non-compliant customers


Employee screening:

  • Encourage employees to self monitor as well as utilize the ABTraceTogether App to help create a good tracing protocol across the province.


Customer screening:

  • Customers are not allowed entry if they are ill with COVID-19 symptoms.


Returns:

  • There are no COVID rules related to returns.


Fitting rooms:

  • There are no COVID rules related to fitting rooms.


Reusable bags/ bagging:

  • Reusable bags are permitted.


Bulk bins:

  • There are no COVID rules related to bulk bins.


Guidance documents:

  • COVID guidance documents have been discontinued.


Travel restrictions (regional):

  • Interprovincial travel is permitted with no restrictions.


Operational Plan Required
:

  • No specific operational plan for COVID-19 has been required, however OH&S plans must factor in all risks, including those related to COVID.

Updated January 17, 2022

Retailers considered “essential”/
allowed to open:

  • All retailers are permitted to open.


Maximum number of people in store/ physical distancing requirements:

  • Retail stores across the province (all regions) are permitted to operate at 100% of fire code allowance.


Personal Protective Equipment required:

  • Non-medical masks or face coverings are required under a Health Order and stores are expected to post signage and remind non-compliant customers.


Employee screening:

  • All workers, especially those in constant contact with the public should self -monitor for symptoms and use the self-assessment tool.


Customer screening:

  • Customers are not allowed entry if they are ill with COVID-19 symptoms.


Returns:

  • There are no COVID rules related to returns.


Fitting rooms:

  • There are no COVID rules related to fitting rooms.


Reusable bags/ bagging:

  • Reusable bags are permitted.


Bulk bins:

  • There are no COVID rules related to bulk bins.


Guidance documents:

  • COVID guidance documents have been discontinued.


Travel restrictions (regional):

  • Interprovincial travel is permitted with no restrictions.


Operational Plan Required
:

  • No specific operational plan for COVID-19 has been required, however OH&S plans must factor in all risks, including those related to COVID.

Updated January 17, 2022

Retailers considered “essential”/
allowed to open:

  • All retail stores across the province are permitted to open.


Maximum number of people in store/ physical distancing requirements:

  • Retail stores must limit capacity to 50% of fire code in the Southern Health region, however may operate at 100% throughout the balance of the province, including the entire capital region.


Personal Protective Equipment required:

  • Mandatory masks must be worn in and stores are expected to post signage and remind non-complaint customers.


Employee screening:

  • Staff must self-screen before coming into work.


Customer screening:

  • Customers are not allowed entry if they are ill with COVID-19 symptoms.


Returns:

  • There are no COVID rules related to returns.


Fitting rooms:

  • There are no COVID rules related to fitting rooms.


Reusable bags/ bagging:

  • Reusable bags are permitted.


Bulk bins:

  • There are no COVID rules related to bulk bins.


Guidance documents:

  • COVID guidance documents have been discontinued.


Travel restrictions (regional):

  • Anyone entering Manitoba from anywhere in Canada will be required to self-isolate for 14 days, unless fully vaccinated.


Operational Plan Required
:

  • No specific operational plan for COVID-19 has been required.

Updated January 12, 2021

Maximum number of people in store/ physical distancing requirements:

  • Capacity for all retail stores is now 50% of fire code allowance.


Personal Protective Equipment required:

  • It is mandatory to wear masks in all retail stores.


Employee screening:

  • Employee Screening is required in Ontario.


Customer screening:

  • Passive customer screening is required province-wide for retailers.


Returns:

  • Returns are currently allowed.


Fitting rooms:

  • Use of fitting rooms allowed.


Reusable bags/ bagging:

  • Ontario recommends that customers who bring reusable bags to store should pack bags themselves. Ontario’s guidance says “Consider ways to minimize contact with customers and maintain a safe distance while handling goods and taking payment that may include not accepting re-usable bags or containers that are to be handled by your staff.”


Bulk bins:

  • No local or province guidance on bulk bins.


Guidance documents:


Travel restrictions (regional):

  • Travel between regions for work purposes are allowed. Travel for non-essential purposes is discouraged.


Operational Plan Required
:

  • Ontario requires a ‘safety plan’ for retailers, which describe the measures and procedures which have been implemented or will be implemented in the business. View sample plan and more information. In addition, the Ministry of Labour can always ask any Ontario business for an operational H&S plan.

Updated on January 7, 2022

Retailers considered “essential”/
allowed to open:

  • All retailers are allowed to open, including both essential and non-essential businesses.
  • All retailers, except convenient stores, gas stations, and pharmacies, must be closed to the public on Sundays until January 17 2022. Employees may still be working in stores and deliveries are permitted.
  • Starting from December 31, 2021, a curfew is in effect between 10 p.m. and 5 a.m. throughout Québec; all retail stores has to close at max 9:30 p.m. Dining rooms have to be closed. Take out and deliveries are permitted 24/7.


Maximum number of people in store/ physical distancing requirements:

  • From December 20, 2021, the maximum capacity must respect the following ratio: Floor area accessible to customers in m2 ÷ by 20. Note that employees are not included in the number of authorized persons. Social distancing of 2 meter has to be respected at all times.


Personal Protective Equipment required:

  • Non-medical masks or face coverings are required for customers inside most indoor public places including retail stores and shopping centres. View Mask Requirements  for more information. For all workers procedural masks or certified masks are mandatory. View information on EPI requirements (French only) .


Employee screening:

  • Quebec recommends screening employees regularly for health issues. As of February, Public Health has implemented a screening protocol using the use of rapid tests in companies to reduce the risk of outbreaks – it is a voluntary measure.


Customer screening:

  • The province recommends screening customers at the entrance.


Returns:

  • Returns are currently allowed.


Fitting rooms:

  • Quebec has no guidance on fitting rooms.


Reusable bags/ bagging:

  • The province has recommended customers bag their own items. A company can, however, choose to offer packing or bagging services using reusable bags in accordance with the hygiene measures in place for the on-site employees. Likewise, reusable containers may be brought in by consumers and handled by employees, as long as employees wash their hands after handling containers belonging to consumers.


Bulk bins:

  • Bulk bins are allowed but discouraged. Retailers are currently authorized to prepackage foods from bulk containers in order to limit handling by the public, without labeling them as long as the packaging is located near the original containers so that customers can take note of the necessary information (name, list of ingredients, price / weight or volume), until the sanitary situation is restored.


Guidance documents:


Travel restrictions (regional):

  • Interprovincial travel is permitted with no restrictions.


Operational Plan Required
:

  • No specific operational plan for COVID-19 has been required.

Updated on January 18, 2022

Updated COVID-19 guidance document for retailers:

  • The recent increases in COVID-19 cases have prompted the New Brunswick government to release and updated COVID-19 Guidelines for Retail document. Retailers should expect increased store visits from inspectors. Retailers should assume that inspectors will refer to this guidance document during inspections. See Guidelines for Retail in English and French.

Retailers considered “essential”/
allowed to open:

  • With the exception of grocery retailers, all other retailers have the choice to either open to everyone, regardless of vaccination status or mandate proof of vaccination for customers to enter. If retailers chose such a mandate, they must offer other options for serving customers that are not vaccinated.  Retailers must continue to follow their operational plans, regarding mask wearing and physical distancing.


Maximum number of people in store/ physical distancing requirements:

  • 50% capacity for retail.  Stores must allow for 2 metres of physical distancing between individuals. Restaurants are limited to take-out, delivery and drive-thru service. Province is currently in Level 2 of its Winter Action Plan.


Personal Protective Equipment required:

  • Face masks are required in all indoor settings and all outdoor settings where 2 metres of physical distancing cannot be maintained.


Employee screening:

  • Guide for Communicable Disease Prevention
  • Posters and Resources


Customer screening:


Returns:

  • Returns are currently allowed.


Fitting rooms:

  • Use of fitting rooms allowed.


Reusable bags/ bagging:

  • Reusable bags are permitted.


Bulk bins:

  • Bulk bins are allowed. As part of their COVID-19 operational plans, retailers must have protocols that will be implemented to ensure that self-serve can be done safely.


Guidance documents:


Travel restrictions (regional):

  • Prior to entering New Brunswick, people must complete the Travel Registration Program form. See Winter Action Plan.


Operational Plan Required
:

  • All businesses must develop an Operational Plan. Businesses must be able to produce the plan if an inspector visits the business. More information.

Updated January 7, 2022

Retailers considered “essential”/
allowed to open:

  • Retail is allowed to open to everyone, regardless of vaccination status.  Retailers must continue to follow their operational plans, regarding mask wearing and physical distancing.


Maximum number of people in store/ physical distancing requirements:

  • 50% capacity for retail and restaurants (max of 10 per table / dine-in service ends at 11pm and closes at midnight).  25% capacity for cinemas to a maximum of 50 people.  Stores must allow for 2 metres of physical distancing between individuals.


Personal Protective Equipment required:

  • Face masks are required in all indoor settings and all outdoor settings where 2 metres of physical distancing cannot be maintained.  People must be seated to remove their mask for eating or drinking.


Employee screening:


Customer screening:

  • Each retailer must have an operational plan.  In any retail setting where people are seated while eating or drinking, proof of vaccination is required.


Returns:

  • Returns are currently allowed.


Fitting rooms:

  • Use of fitting rooms allowed.


Reusable bags/ bagging:

  • Reusable bags are permitted.


Bulk bins:

  • Bulk bins are allowed. As part of their COVID-19 operational plans, retailers must have protocols that will be implemented to ensure that self-serve can be done safely.


Guidance documents:


Travel restrictions (regional):


Operational Plan Required
:

  • All businesses must develop an Operational Plan. Businesses must be able to produce the plan if an inspector visits the business.

Retailers considered “essential”/
allowed to open:

  • With the exception of cinemas and performance spaces, all other retailers are allowed to open.  Province is at Alert Level 4.


Maximum number of people in store/ physical distancing requirements:

  • 50 per cent capacity for restaurants and fitness facilities.  Physical distancing required.


Personal Protective Equipment required:

  • Non-medical masks or face coverings are required inside most indoor public places including retail stores and shopping centres. View Mask Requirements for more information.  Recommendations also include 2 metre physical distancing, frequent hand washing / hand washing facilities, hand sanitizer (min of 60% alcohol), enhanced cleaning and disinfecting of workplace – especially high touch areas. Consider physical barriers when physical distancing can’t be maintained.


Employee screening:

  • Employers should have plans in place for increased worker absences due to illness or self-isolation requirements and all businesses should have a workplace illness policy.


Customer screening:

  • Each retailer is strongly encouraged to have an operational plan. In any retail setting where people are seated while eating or drinking, proof of vaccination is required.


Returns:

  • Returns are currently allowed.


Fitting rooms:

  • Use of fitting rooms allowed.


Reusable bags/ bagging:

  • Reusable bags are permitted.


Bulk bins:

  • Bulk bins are allowed. As part of their COVID-19 operational plans, retailers must have protocols that will be implemented to ensure that self-serve can be done safely.


Guidance documents:


Travel restrictions (regional):

  • 5 day isolation for fully vaccinated travelers, upon arrival. Prior to entering Nfld and Lab, people must complete the Travel Form.


Operational Plan Required
:

  • A detailed operational plan for COVID-19 is encouraged but not required. Retailers are required to show that they have workplace health and safety policies related to doing business in the COVID-19 pandemic in place and available for inspectors to review.

Updated on January 18, 2022

Retailers considered “essential”/
allowed to open:

  • All retailers are permitted to open.


Maximum number of people in store/ physical distancing requirements:

  • 50% capacity  for retail. Stores must allow for 2 metres of physical distancing between individuals. Restaurants are limited to take-out, delivery and drive-thru service. 


Personal Protective Equipment required:

  • Non-medical masks are required in all indoor public spaces.  View mask requirements and exemptions. Recommendations include 2 metre physical distancing, frequent hand washing / hand washing facilities, hand sanitizer (min of 60% alcohol), enhanced cleaning and disinfecting of workplace – especially high touch areas.  Consider physical barriers when physical distancing can’t be maintained.


Employee screening:

  • Employee Self Monitoring. See Operational Plan Template..


Customer screening:

  • Each retailer must have an operational plan. In any retail setting where people are seated while eating or drinking, proof of vaccination is required.


Returns:

  • Returns are currently allowed.


Fitting rooms:

  • Use of fitting rooms allowed.


Reusable bags/ bagging:

  • Reusable bags are permitted.


Bulk bins:

  • Bulk bins are allowed. As part of their COVID-19 operational plans, retailers must have protocols that will be implemented to ensure that self-serve can be done safely.


Guidance documents:


Travel restrictions (regional):

  • Prior to entering PEI, people must complete the form for the PEI Pass.


Operational Plan Required
:

  • All businesses are required to complete an operational plan.  Inspectors will be asking businesses to produce their plan during inspections. View plan template.

Updated January 7, 2022

Retailers considered “essential”/
allowed to open:

  • All retailers are permitted to open, but at maximum 50 per cent capacity as of January 7, 2022. Businesses are strongly recommended to have operational plans in place to limit close contact between people and keep their employees and customers safe.
  • Proof of vaccination is required for movie theatres and personal service establishments and they are limited to 25 people or 50 per cent of venue, whichever is less.
  • Proof of vaccination required for table service at restaurants, bars, and nightclubs with a limit of six people per table; tables need to be spaced two metres (six feet) apart; no bar or counter eating or service; no moving between tables and no dancing.


Maximum number of people in store/ physical distancing requirements:

  • Stores must be at maximum 50 per cent capacity and must allow for 2 metres of physical distancing between individuals.


Personal Protective Equipment required:

  • Masks are required in all indoor public spaces, including retail, beginning December 1. It is recommended that hand sanitizer is provided.


Employee screening:

  • If an employee is experiencing COVID-19 type symptoms, they should call 811 for information on assessment and be assessed by a health professional before returning to work. A guide for employees experiencing COVID-19 symptoms is available with guidance on when to stay home from work.


Customer screening:

  • It is strongly recommended that Yukoners entering or returning to the territory limit contacts to their household only during the first three days upon return. It is recommended that during the first five days of entry or return, people should only go into their community for essential needs. 

Returns:

  • Returns are currently allowed. No guidance has been indicated.


Fitting rooms:

  • No guidance provided on fitting rooms.


Guidance documents:


Travel restrictions (regional):

  • Everyone entering Yukon must self-isolate for 14 days. There is an exemption for critical service workers to perform their duties.


Operational Plan Required
:

  • Businesses must complete an operational plan and have a copy available if requested. View template.

Updated January 7, 2022

Retailers considered “essential”/
allowed to open:

  • All retailers are permitted to open. Under the Temporary Gathering Public Health Orders, non-essential businesses may have up to 10 members of the public inside on each floor of their premises in addition to staff. The number of staff is limited to the minimum number required to perform operations. Businesses must maintain at least 2 metres of physical separation between staff and members of the public and follow their exposure control plan. Essential businesses may have more than 10 members of the public on-site but must limit the number of staff to the minimum required to perform operations and comply with any conditions imposed by the CPHO.


Maximum number of people in store/ physical distancing requirements:

  • Businesses must maintain at least 2 metres of physical separation between staff and members of the public and follow their exposure control plan.


Personal Protective Equipment required:

  • Place alcohol-based hand cleaners at entrances for use by customers.


Employee screening:

  • Send employees home immediately if they have a fever, cough, runny nose or sore throat.


Customer screening:

  • Post signs on entrances that stop people from entering the business if they have symptoms of respiratory illness (cough, fever, runny nose).

Returns:

  • Returns are currently allowed. No guidance has been indicated.


Fitting rooms:

  • No guidance provided on fitting rooms.


Guidance documents:


Operational Plan Required
:

Updated January 7, 2022

Retailers considered “essential”/
allowed to open:

  • Retail stores can be open, grocery stores are limited to one shopper per household, with distancing required.
  • Personal service businesses and bars are closed, restaurants are open for take-out only with mandatory 2m between people in line. 


Maximum number of people in store/ physical distancing requirements:

  • For smaller businesses that cannot maintain physical distancing of at least 2 metres between persons, a maximum of 5 customers are allowed on premises at a time. Otherwise, 2 metres physical distance is required.


Personal Protective Equipment required:

  • Masks are mandatory in all communities.


Returns:

  • Returns are currently allowed. No guidance has been indicated.


Fitting rooms:

  • No guidance provided on fitting rooms.


Operational Plan Required
:

  • No specific operational plan for COVID-19 has been required.

See also:

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