Shopping Etiquette

Many services can be accessed online so that you do not need to leave your home. If you must go out to shop for or pick up essentials, limit trips to once a week or less often, and avoid going to multiple stores if possible. Consider going at non-peak hours and always practise physical distancing by keeping at least 2 metres apart from others. If keeping 2 metres distance from others may be challenging or not possible, such as in small grocery stores or pharmacies, it is recommended to use a face covering (non-medical mask) to reduce the risk of transmission of COVID-19.

Stores are keeping up with new information and carefully changing how they operate to protect customers, staff and their families. Shoppers must be mindful of their shopping and check-out behaviours and follow the store's instructions.

  • Follow store signs.
    • Stores may be staggering the number of people entering the store at the same time.
    • Stores may have designed aisles to become one-way, with markings on the floor.
    • There may be markings on the floor near the check-out to guide you in maintaining your distance.
    • Listen to the instructions of staff. They have been trained on precautions.
  • Shop alone.
    • This allows for fewer people in the store and easier physical distancing.
  • Have a detailed list.
    • Organize your list by aisle if you always shop at the same store. This will limit your time in the store and the traffic within the store.
  • Understand that certain products may be less available.
    • Take only what you need.
    • Get enough supplies so that if you or someone in your household becomes ill, you have what you need for 2 weeks.
  • Shop with your eyes.
    • Avoid touching items that you do not intend to buy.
  • Understand that it takes longer to get through the cash in order to allow for physical distancing.
    • Some stores may close every second cash in order to allow for better physical distancing.
    • Wait your turn before loading the conveyor belt.
    • After placing your items on the conveyor belt, move to the end of the conveyor belt. Do not wait in front of or near the cashier.
  • If the store allows you to use your own reusable bags, make sure they are clean.
    • Some stores may only allow staff to pack items using store-provided plastic bags.
  • Use tap to pay if you can.
    • This will reduce the surfaces you touch and avoid money exchanges.

Eastern Ontatio Health Unit / Bureau de santé de l'Ontario