COVID-19 Requirements for Retailers by Region

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.

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

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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
1 Retail reopening date (where applicable) Open - Not applicable since retailers were always allowed to open. Open as of May 14. Open as of May 19. Open as of May 4. Open as of June 25. All Ontario retailers including those in malls are allowed to be open. Open all across Québec as of June 19. Open - Not applicable since retailers were always allowed to open.



Open as of May 8. Open as of May 22. Open as of June 8. Open - Not applicable. Retailers who can maintain physical distancing requirements may stay open. Open - Not applicable. Retailers who can maintain physical distancing requirements may stay open. Open - Not applicable. Retailers who can maintain physical distancing requirements may stay open.
2 Retailers considered "essential"/ allowed to open All retailers are permitted to open. All retailers are permitted to open. All retailers are permitted to open. All retailers are permitted to open. All retailers are permitted to open. All retailers are permitted to open. 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. Retailers must have an operational plan. All retailers allowed to open. A detailed operational plan for COVID-19 is encouraged but not required. All retailers are permitted to open. 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 food businesses, recommended for other retailers. Stores must allow for maintenance of 2 metre physical distancing between all customers and employees. Stores are encouraged to post maximum occupancy and set the maximum based on allowing maintaining 2 metre distancing. Stores must allow for maintenance of 2 metre physical distancing between all customers and employees. Provincially, there are no additional restrictions for essential businesses. For non-essential businesses, you need to ensure that traffic does not exceed a number that would prevent customers from safely remain 2 metres away from one another.

Check local PHU to see if there are additional restrictions in your area (typically, either no more than 50 people, or no more than 1 person per 4 square metres of floor space).
Stores must allow for 2 metres of physical distancing between individuals. Stores must allow for 2 metres of physical distancing between individuals. Stores must allow for 2 metres of physical distancing between individuals. Stores must allow for 2 metres of physical distancing between individuals. Businesses that are too small to ensure physical distancing can have no more than 10 people on their premises at a time. 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 No specific PPE required except where persons come within 2
metres of one-another, e.g., alterations.
Business should 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. Business should 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. Business should take precautions including posting signage about physical distancing, ensuring store capacity allows for 2 meter physical distancing, enhance cleaning and sanitization protocols as well as ensure both customers and employees have access to hand sanitizers. Currently stores must maintain a single point of entry. No specific PPE required at this time.

While no Public Health Unit has required PPE that we are aware of, some regions have additional requirements should a staff member choose to wear masks/gloves (typically, changing if soiled by cough/sneeze, proper handwashing procedures, or frequency of changing).
Masks or face coverings will be mandatory in all indoor public spaces including retail stores as of July 18, 2020. Businesses that do not comply risk fines up to $6,000.

Procedure masks and eye protection are recommended in situations where 2 metres physical distancing cannot be maintained. View more information
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.

It is recommended that all Nova Scotians wear a non-medical mask in situations where distancing may not be able to be kept, such as in stores.
Face masks are required in public buildings only when 2 meters of physical distancing cannot be maintained. 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. 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. No guidance Place alcohol-based hand cleaners at entrances for use by customers. Not required, it is recommended that hand sanitizer is provided.
8 Employee screening Every employee must be asked if they are ill, or have symptoms of respiratory illness, as they enter the workplace. Employees who are ill must be sent home. Signage may
be an option.
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.





Ontario's retail guidance material recommends screening workers regularly for health issues. If anyone develops symptoms of COVID-19, implement procedures for reporting the illness and keep the worker away from others. View Ministry of Health's guidance on screening procedures.

Check your local PHU to see if there are additional restrictions in your area. Some PHUs have specific questions that they recommend asking employees during screening.
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.
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 No province-wide guidance on customer screening.

Some local Public Health Units have a customer screening protocol, with questions that they recommend asking customers during screening. Others, have requirements to place signage stating that customers experiencing symptoms should not enter.
The province recommends screening customers at the entrance. Retailers must post signs on entrances that stop people from entering the business if they have symptoms of respiratory illness (cough, fever, runny nose). Retailers must post signs on entrances that stop people from entering the business if they have symptoms of respiratory illness (cough, fever, runny nose). More information

Retailers must post signs on entrances that stop people from entering the business if they have symptoms of respiratory illness (cough, fever, runny nose). View template

Retailers must post signs on entrances that stop people from entering the business if they have symptoms of respiratory illness (cough, fever, runny nose).More information

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. Returns are currently allowed. Returns are currently allowed 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. Only fitting rooms with doors can be used (e.g. no curtains) to facilitate disinfecting. 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. 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. Reusable bags are permitted but not encouraged. Reusable bags are permitted but not encouraged. Reusable bags are permitted but not encouraged. Reusable bags are permitted but not encouraged.
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 discouraged. 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.
Requirements

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