Guidelines for Retailers Providing Access to the Place of Business Including Where Members of the Public are Served in Person

Please consult Ontario's website for the list of retailers that provide public access to the place of business, including where members of the public are served in person.

Retailers that provide access to the place of business, including where members of the public are served in person, have a responsibility to ensure that their workplaces operate in a way that minimizes risk for workers, customers and the community. To prevent the spread of COVID-19, these businesses must implement the following safety measures:

Ensure Crowd Control

  • If applicable, assign an employee to monitor the parking lot.
  • If applicable, assign an employee at the front door for crowd and flow control.
  • Stagger the number of people entering the premises at the same time to respect physical distancing.
  • The use of masks or face coverings (non-medical masks such as cloth masks) is required in public areas of an enclosed space and when keeping two metres’ distance from co-workers or clients may be challenging or not possible. Consult the Public Health Directive for Mandatory Mask Use in Enclosed Public Spaces.
  • If applicable, ask clients to not stop in front of the cash register but to circulate to the end of the conveyor belt.
  • If applicable, design a shopping flow in the whole premises: every aisle in the premises must become a one-way with directions marked with an arrow taped to the floor.
  • If applicable, reduce the lines and grouping at the cash registers by having clients line up behind 6ft tape markings on the floor and have an employee send clients to cashiers as they become available.
  • Place tape with 6ft markers in front of service counters (e.g. meat/deli counters, bakery, customer service, etc.).

Implement Hygiene and Disinfectant Procedures

  • Employees dealing directly with customers within a 2-metre range must wear an adequate mask if there is no physical barrier in place and practise adequate hand hygiene after servicing each customer by washing their hands with soap and water (or alcohol-based hand sanitizer) for at least 20 seconds.
  • If applicable, sanitize shopping carts and baskets between customers.
  • Provide portable hand washing stations for clients (sink with water, soap and paper towel or 70% alcohol hand sanitizer) at the entrance to the premises.
  • Provide plexiglass dividers at cashiers or any other service that requires a staff to be close to the client (e.g. deli, customer service, etc.).
  • Often disinfect high traffic areas such as door handles, phones, switches, etc.
  • Either use tapping when paying by card or establish a protocol to sanitize the keypad

Screen and Train your Employees

  • At the beginning of each workday or shift:
  • Offer training to staff:
    • Ensure they wash their hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds each time.
    • If they handle money, ensure they wash their hands.
    • If you require that they use gloves, advise them not to touch their face and head.
    • Remind them to cough or sneeze into the bend of their arm.

Implement Other Measures

  • If applicable, limit the number of items per customer for any product in the premises to prevent hoarding
  • Provide signage as needed to remind customers of the importance of physical distancing and public health measures:
  • Remove all loose items at the takeout concessions such as stirring sticks, straws and napkins and have them dispensed only by food handlers
  • If applicable, do not allow the staff to handle used and multiple use shopping bags or any similar items
  • Consider using only 1 cashier for cash payments
  • Follow the Occupational Health and Safety Act, R.S.O. 1990, c. O.1, and its regulations.

Additional Resources

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