Coronavirus has closed a lot of stores. Here's what's still open

Shruti Shekar
Telecom & Tech Reporter
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This article was last updated on March 24. Please note that some information below may be out of date.

Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, Prince Edward Island, Ontario, Newfoundland and Labrador, British Columbia, Quebec and Alberta have each enacted emergency measures because of COVID-19. Across the country, restaurants, schools, and local recreation facilities are temporarily shutting down.

Some places are still open, although many have reduced hours.

Canada’s chief public health officer Dr. Theresa Tam advised Canadians on Wednesday to take extra precautions when going out, like washing your hands when you return and not touching your face.

Here’s where you can still go amid the COVID-19 pandemic.


Food/Drinks Services 

On March 17, Tim Hortons said it was closing all in-store customer seating at most of its locations across the country. It added it was shifting its focus to take-out, drive-thru, and delivery services. 

Starbucks has also indicated it would halt all in-store seating for at least two weeks.

Uber Eats, the food delivery app, said it was waiving all delivery fees from independent restaurants on its platform.

Newfoundland and Labrador

Restaurants can operate at 50% capacity, if social distancing can work within the space. Take-out and delivery services are still operational. Bars are closed.

Prince Edward Island

Restaurants and bars are closed. Restaurants that have pick-up, delivery and drive-thru options will continue.

Nova Scotia 

Businesses can stay open if people are able to keep two metres of distance between them.

New Brunswick

Restaurants will be closed but take-out and delivery services will remain available. The liquor store will also remain open.

Quebec

Rumours have been circulating that the SAQ would shut its doors, but nothing has been confirmed as of yet, according to Journal de Quebec. 

Restaurants are closed for seating, but take-out services are still allowed.

Bars have closed their doors. 

Ontario

As part of the state of emergency declaration, all restaurants and bars have been instructed to shut down. 

The Ontario government said restaurants that offer delivery or take-out can still operate those facilities. 

The LCBO will be reducing store hours from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. starting March 19. 

Manitoba

Restaurants and bars are open.

Saskatchewan 

Most restaurants and bars are open. 

Alberta

Capacity is limited to 50 people, which includes restaurants, cafes, and food courts. Take-out and delivery services will continue. 

British Columbia

Restaurants that are not able to keep people seated one to two metres of distance between one another are asked to move to a take-out model. Bars are shut down.


Gas Stations

Gas stations will remain open as they are considered essential.


Banks

Most bank branches have reduced hours. You still will be able to access ATMs and online banking tools. Telephone banking is also an option.


Government access points 

Newfoundland and Labrador

Service NL will offer some services on a walk-in basis in specific locations. Contact your local Services NL. Most requests can be made online. You can dial this number for more information: 709-729-4834.

Prince Edward Island

Access PEI is closed and has pushed renewals for driver licences and vehicle registrations to June 1. For general inquiries you can call 902-368-5100.

Nova Scotia

Access Nova Scotia will close its offices until March 25. Most transactions can be made online and it has also announced it will extend the deadline for renewal of licences and vehicle registrations for March and April to August 31. You can call this number if you have questions 902-424-5200.

New Brunswick

Service NS is closed but online services are still available. You can still call this number for general assistance and information 506-457-3581.

Quebec

The SAAQ will remain open but recommends that you try to do your services online if you are able. The number for the Quebec area: 418-643-7620 and for the Montreal area: 514-873-7620

Ontario

Service Ontario will remain open, but urges Canadians not to visit an office unless it’s necessary. It also asks to do online transactions whenever possible. To call them the number is 416-326-1234.

Manitoba

Call the Manitoba government for your specific service to know if offices are open or not. The number is 204-945-3744.

Saskatchewan

Offices will remain open, but you should call to check hours of operation in case there are reduced hours.

Alberta

Registry agents remain open unless otherwise noted. Some Service Alberta locations will operate with reduced hours. 

Renewal deadlines for driver’s licences and vehicle registrations are pushed to May 15. 

To call toll free dial 310-0000 (in Alberta) and 780-427-2711 (outside Alberta long-distance charges apply).

British Columbia

Service BC should be open, but depending on your location, it could be closed or have reduced hours. Call in advance. For Victoria call: 250-387-6121. For Vancouver call: 604 660-2421


Pharmacies/Health services

Pharmacies and health care services will be open but it is important to call ahead to check for hours of operation. 

Shoppers Drug Mart will be “dedicating the first opening hour of shopping” for customers that need assistance, including seniors and people living with disabilities.

If you intend to go to a Shoppers Drug Mart, make sure you check its operating hours before going. 


Nursing homes

Newfoundland and Labrador

Nursing homes are open but are limiting visitors who have travelled recently. 

Prince Edward Island

Nursing homes are closed to visitors.

Nova Scotia

Nursing homes are closed to visitors.

New Brunswick

Nursing homes are closed to visitors.

Quebec

Nursing homes are closed and regular visits are prohibited. 

Ontario

Nursing and long-term care homes are accepting essential visitors only. The government says this means visits will only be allowed to those who are dying or very ill. 

Manitoba

Nursing homes are open, but provisions may be put in place to allow only one visitor at a time. 

Saskatchewan

Nursing homes are open, but if you’re sick you are asked not to visit. 

Alberta

Nursing homes are open but only restricted to core, essential visitors.

British Columbia

Nursing homes are open.


Grocery stores 

Grocery stores will remain open as they are a vital resource for Canadians. 

Depending on which province you’re in, check the store’s location online or call the store to get specific details on whether or not the store will open early for seniors and people with disabilities. 

Some grocery stores across the country may also have reduced hours. 


With files from the Canadian Press