RCC has assembled an interactive chart of regulations and health and safety guidelines for retailers who are reopening or continuing to open during COVID-19.
- 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
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Opening/Health and safety requirements by region
|wdt_ID||Requirements||British Columbia||Alberta||Saskatchewan||Manitoba||Ontario||Quebec||Nova Scotia||New Brunswick||PEI||Nfld & Lab||Nunavut||NWT||Yukon|
|2||Retailers considered "essential"/ allowed to open||Retailers are only permitted to be open if they follow the provisions in Provincial Health Officer’s Gathering Order with respect to retail (section “L”, pages 20-1). All businesses must also follow the Provincial Health Officer’s Order on Workplace Safety.||All retailers are permitted to open, but must lower their store capacity.||All retailers are permitted to open.
As of January 23, 2021, all retail stores across the province, with the exception of northern Manitoba, will be permitted to reopen.
|All Manitoba non-essential retailers to close and in-store shopping is also restricted to essential goods only for those allowed to remain open. More information||As of December 26, 2020, only retailers in the following categories may remain open at reduced capacity: grocery, pharmacy and gas stations, discount and big box retailers selling groceries, stores that sell liquor, wine or beer may remain open.
Most retailers considered non-essential may be open for curbside pickup, with select retailers able to operate by appointment. As of January 14, 2021, curbside pick-up must occur between the hours of 7 a.m. and 8 p.m. for retailers who are deemed “non-essential” and are conducting curbside sales. RCC's understanding is that this restriction will continue for at least 28 days.
View more information on Ontario-wide shutdown.
|Until February 8, 2021, only grocers/food store, pharmacies, pet stores, convenience stores, gas stations, hardware stores and megastores can be open and sell only essential items. During this period, curbside pickup and delivery is allowed for all retailers provided that the pickup is done outside. More information
For Level 4/Red Zones: Cinemas and dining rooms must close (take out only).
|All retailers are permitted to open. Retailers must have an operational plan.||All retailers are permitted to open. Retailers must have an operational plan.||All retailers allowed to open. Retailers must have an operational plan.||All retailers allowed to open. A detailed operational plan for COVID-19 is encouraged but not required.||Non-essential businesses in Arviat must remain closed until further notice. Non-essential businesses in other communities may be open subject to physical distancing requirements.||All retailers are permitted to open.||All retailers are permitted to open.|
|6||Maximum number of people in store/ physical distancing requirements||2 metre physical distance between any 2 people is required at all times. 1 person (employees and customers) per 5 square metres of open retail space (deduct fixtures and displays from the retail space before making the calculation): required for all retailers. For stores with less than five square metres of unencumbered space, the maximum number of patrons who can be accommodated safely is one, and this number must be documented in the retailer’s COVID-19 safety plan.
The store occupancy figure must be included in the COVID-19 Workplace Safety Plan. Best practice is to post the occupancy figure visibly near the entrance. Many businesses use the poster provided by WorkSafeBC.
|Retail stores across the province (all regions) are required to lower their store capacity to 15% (not including employees) of Alberta’s fire code allowance. See more information and capacity calculator.
Stores must allow for maintenance of 2 metre physical distancing between all customers and employees.
|Large retail locations 20,000 square feet and larger are required to limit customer access to 25% capacity, based on the store’s fire code permit. Smaller stores may operate at 50% capacity. Capacity calculations do not need to include staff members, as long as appropriate physical distancing can be maintained. More information||Stores must allow for maintenance of 2 metre physical distancing between all customers and employees. Regions that are designated as being in the Critical (Red) zone must reduce occupants in the store to the larger of either 25% of the occupancy permit or 5 people (excluding staff).||As of December 26, 2020: All retailers deemed non-essential must close. Grocery stores, pharmacy, and convenience stores must limit their store capacity to the smaller of A) the capacity calculated for 2 meters distancing, or B) 50% of building code capacity which can be calculated as the sales floor divided by (3.7m2 x 2). Discount and big box retailers selling groceries and stores that sell liquor, wine or beer must limit in-store capacity to 25%. View RCC's capacity calculator.
Stores must allow for maintenance of 2 metre physical distancing between all customers and employees.
|The maximum number of people in-store (not including employees) must be equal to Floor area in m2 accessible to customers ÷ 20 m2. The store’s reception capacity must be clearly and visibly displayed. More information||As of January 11, retailers across the province must limit their in-store capacity to 50% of the business occupancy code. This rule includes the retail floor space (including fixtures and floor displays) but does not include offices, exits, etc. The general rule for a one storey retail establishment = 1 person per 3.7 square meters (40 square feet) X 0.50.
- See restrictions alerts by county
- See restrictions updates
|Stores must allow for 2 metres of physical distancing between individuals.||Retail stores and markets must operate at a maximum 50% patron capacity. This capacity limit only applies to patrons, not employees, and is in place until December 21, 2020. The 50% capacity rule is for patrons. The capacity rule is based on 50% of the fire code and is calculated based on the entire retail floor space including fixtures and displays. PEI follows the National Fire Prevention Act, which allows for:
- Ground level retail space = 1 person per 30 ft sq of retail space
- Basement or Second Floor = 1 person per 40 ft sq of retail space
Businesses that are too small to ensure physical distancing can have no more than 10 people on their premises at a time but must still follow the rules regarding 50% patron capacity.
Movie theatres can welcome up to 50 people and two additional groups of 50 people each with an approved operational plan.
|Stores must allow for 2 metres of physical distancing between individuals.
Guidance For Retail Establishments suggests 50% of normal capacity (GUIDANCE ONLY).
|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.||Small retailers should restrict the number of customers to less than 10 at a time, or the number of people who can occupy the space while maintaining a two metre distance between them – whichever is less. For larger retailers, 2 metres distance between persons.||Stores must allow for 2 metres of physical distancing between individuals.|
|7||Personal Protective Equipment required||Masks are required in all public indoor settings and workplaces, including retail stores and coffee shops.
Store owners must make hand sanitization options readily available for customers. This can include spraying hand sanitizer on the hands of customers entering, or, providing hand sanitizer in places accessible to consumers.
|Non-medical masks or face coverings are required in most regions. View Mask Requirements for more information. Business should also take precautions including: Posting signs about physical distancing, regulating store capacity to allow for physical distancing, enhance cleaning and sanitization as well as ensuring employees have access to hand sanitizer.||Mandatory masks are required to be worn in all retail stores. Businesses must also adhere to additional precautions including: Posting signs about physical distancing, regulating store capacity to allow for physical distancing, enhance cleaning and sanitization as well as ensuring employees have access to hand sanitizer.||Mandatory masks must be worn in all retail stores. Business should also take precautions including posting signage about physical distancing, monitor store capacity limits, limits are maintained enhance cleaning and sanitization protocols as well as ensure both customers and employees have access to hand sanitizer. Currently stores must maintain a single point of entry.||Nearly all regions have face covering requirements that vary by Public Health Unit. View Mask Requirements for more information.||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 workers, procedure masks and eye protection are required in situations where 2 metres physical distancing cannot be maintained. View more information
As of December 2020, it is possible for employers to provide certified reusable masks to employees who are unable to maintain social distancing. View information on certification standards.
|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 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.
It is recommended that all Nova Scotians wear a non-medical mask in situations where distancing may not be able to be kept.
|Face masks are required in indoor public spaces. Exemptions include for children under 2 years of age, people with medical conditions which prevent them from wearing a mask, and when people are eating or drinking.
Retailers are expected to make best efforts in enforcing the mask requirements but they are not expected to ask for a medical note if a customer states that they are exempt from wearing a mask for medical reasons. In store signage is recommended and examples can be found here.
|No PPE required. 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. Use of non-medical face masks by employees is recommended if physical distancing cannot be maintained.||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.||Masks are mandatory in all communities with COVID-19 cases.||Place alcohol-based hand cleaners at entrances for use by customers.||Masks are required in all indoor public spaces, including retail, beginning December 1. It is recommended that hand sanitizer is provided.|
|8||Employee screening||Employers must screen workers for signs of COVID-19 prior to entry into the workplace. Employees who are ill must be sent home.||Encourage employees to self monitor as well as utilize the ABTraceTogether App to help create a good tracing protocol across the province.||All workers, especially those in constant contact with the public should self -monitor for symptoms and use the self-assessment tool.||Staff must use the self-screening tool before coming into work. Go to self-screening tool and stay home if feeling ill.||Employee Screening is required in Ontario. View provincial guidance.||Quebec recommends screening employees regularly for health issues.||The province has released advice on what to do if an employee tests positive for COVID-19.||Determine if your workplace must implement a passive or active screening process. For more information on active screening, see page 11 of the Embracing the New Normal guide.
Keep records of visitor and employee log (with confirmation those individuals were actually screened), as well as orientation, training and inspections. NOTE: This is for employees and any visitors. It is not for customers. View more information.
|Employee Self Monitoring. See Operational Plan Template. Prior to beginning work each day, every employee must sign and date the designated form with the following statement:
“I declare by signing this sheet/form that I have not been outside of PEI within the last 14 days and am not required to self-isolate.”
|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. See provincial guidance||Send employees home immediately if they have a fever, cough, runny nose or sore throat.||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.|
|9||Customer screening||Every customer must be asked if they are ill, or have symptoms of respiratory illness, as they enter the workplace. Customers who are ill must be sent home. Signage is an option.||Customers are not allowed entry if they are ill with COVID-19 Symptoms||Customers are not allowed entry if they are ill with COVID-19 symptoms||Customers are not allowed entry if they are ill with COVID-19 symptoms. Provide soap and water or hand sanitizer for customers entering the store||At this time, active customer screening is not required in most regions. Ontario's framework document, and RCC’s conversations with the province indicate that an active customer screening requirement is coming for retailers in Orange, Red and Grey regions.
Retailers in Hamilton are required to actively screen at store entrances. More information
|The province recommends screening customers at the entrance.||Each retailer must have an operational plan.||Each retailer must have an operational plan. Details related to customer screening in NB depend on the COVID-19 level in each zone.||Each retailer must have an operational plan.||No specific guidance for customer screening. View General Guidance For Retail Establishments.||Post signs on entrances that stop people from entering the business if they have symptoms of respiratory illness (cough, fever, runny nose).||Put a sign on business' front door or window asking people not to come in if:
- they’ve travelled outside Yukon in the past 14 days;
- they’re sick; or
- if they’ve been in contact with someone who is suspected or confirmed to have COVID-19 in the last 14 days.
|10||Returns||Returns are currently allowed. Washing hands or using hand sanitizer after handling returns is recommended.||Returns are currently allowed. Suggest cleaning and disinfecting hard-surfaced products before putting them back on the sales floor and storing soft surface items for a period of 24 hours prior to resale.||Returns are currently allowed. Apparel must now be quarantined for 24 hours before returned for resale. (This was reduced from the original 72 hours.)||Returns are currently allowed. Exchanges must be coordinated in a manner that ensures members of the public do not have access to non-essential goods. Therefore, it should be the business operator/employee who accesses the non-essential good(s) for the purpose of the exchange.||Returns are currently allowed.||Returns are currently allowed for essential items only.||Returns are currently allowed.||Returns are currently allowed.||Returns are currently allowed. Retailers are asked to consider quarantining returned items for 72 hours before placing them back on the sales floor.||Returns are currently allowed.||Returns are currently allowed. No guidance has been indicated.||Returns are currently allowed. No guidance has been indicated.||Returns are currently allowed. No guidance has been indicated.|
|11||Fitting rooms||Use of fitting rooms permitted:
- Where the fitting room does not have a door and walls, closing alternate fitting rooms is recommended.
- Cleaning of high-touch elements between customers, and full cleaning on a regular basis are also recommended.
|Use of fitting rooms allowed.
Encourage customers to sanitize hands before trying on clothing and surfaces of changerooms be cleaned and disinfected after use.
|Use of fitting rooms allowed.
Change rooms can be used at 100%, but must be cleaned and disinfected after each use.
|Use of fitting rooms allowed.||Use of fitting rooms allowed. Retailers are required to restrict use to every second fitting room to allow for cleaning after use and ensure physical distancing.||Quebec has no guidance on fitting rooms.||Use of fitting rooms allowed.||Use of fitting rooms allowed.||Use of fitting rooms allowed.||Use of fitting rooms allowed.||No guidance provided on fitting rooms.||No guidance provided on fitting rooms.||No guidance provided on fitting rooms.|
|12||Reusable bags/ bagging||Reusable bags are permitted.
Best practice is to post signage asking customers to wash reusable bags regularly. Local
shopping bag bylaws must be observed.
|Reusable bags are permitted.||Reusable bags are permitted but discouraged.||Reusable bags are permitted, but customers must self-bag their items.||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."
|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.||Reusable bags are permitted.||Reusable bags are permitted.||Reusable bags are permitted.||Reusable bags are permitted.|
|13||Bulk bins||Current guidance for bulk bins is on the BC Centre for Disease Control food business page under the “Should we continue to sell bulk items tab”. Their guidance is to provide hand washing or sanitization near bulk foods; post signs about hand hygiene and physical distancing measures; and, implement a frequent cleaning of the station (handles) and utensils used at the station.||Self-service gravity-fed bins are allowed as long as they are frequently cleaned and disinfected. Ready-to-eat food (such as soup counters, olive bars, beverage stations) will also be permitted as long as retailers and consumers adhere to strict guidelines.||Guidelines state that retailers cannot sell bulk items, except via gravity feed bins, or where staff dispense the bulk items. If used, gravity feed bins should be supervised and wiped down between use.||The province’s updated grocery store guidelines allow for the reopening of some self-serve bulk services including bulk bakery items, gravity fed food bins, and clarification that customers may self-fill beverages. Frequent cleaning and sanitizing by employees is required.||No province-wide guidance on bulk bins.
Some local Public Health Units have banned bulk bin usage. Please check with your local area regarding 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.||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.||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.||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.||Bulk bins are allowed. See NL's Guidance for Retail Establishments for more information.|
|14||Guidance documents||- Provincial Health Order
- Order on Workplace Safety
- Provincial Health Order on restaurants, coffee shops, cafes, cafeterias and licensed premises
- Retail stores
- Food and grocery stores
- Simplified cleaning and disinfecting guidelines
- WorkSafeBC are here and here
- Reopening WorkSafeBC guidance for personal services businesses
|- All Retail Stores
- Grocery Guidance
|- Garden Centres
- Clothing and Other Retail
- SK Grocery
|- Grocery Store Guidance
- Retail Stores (Non Grocery)
- Food Retail
- General Retail
|- INSPQ - Hiérarchie des mesures de contrôle en milieu de travail (French only)
- INSPQ - Commerces (INSPQ)
- CNESST - Toolkit for the Retail and Shopping Centre Sector
- CNESST - Q&A
- MAPAQ Q&A
|- Provincial information about staying safe
- Nova Scotia Restriction Alerts by County
|- New Brunswick reopening guidelines and operational template
- Collection of names and contact information
|- Guidance For Retail Establishments
- COVID-19 Operational Plan template
- Renew PEI Together plan for reopening the economy
|- Guidance For Retail Establishments
- Explanation of Alert Levels and steps to reopening of the economy
- Guidance For Retail Establishments
- Cosmetics testing
|- Emerging Wisely – Path to Eased Public Health Restrictions||Guide for employees experiencing COVID-19 symptoms|