Ontario Taking Additional Steps to Support Hospitality Workers and Businesses during COVID-19 Recovery

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TORONTO, July 15, 2020 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) – The Ontario government is amending liquor laws to provide consumers with more delivery options and allow boat operators with liquor sales licences to temporarily sell and serve alcohol while their boat is docked. These changes, which come into effect today, are designed to support the recovery of workers and businesses as Ontario’s hospitality sector gradually reopens.

Recognizing the continuing need to practice physical distancing, Ontario is amending the Liquor Licence Act (LLA) to allow a licensed liquor delivery service to use contractors. This will give consumers more options for delivery services when purchasing alcohol from Ontario retailers, including the LCBO and The Beer Store. The province is also permanently removing the requirement for these services to obtain a receipt signed by the customer at the time of delivery and removing restrictions that prevented delivery services from delivering to any private space, such as offices.

To continue supporting businesses dealing with the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, the government is also allowing boat operators with a liquor sales licence to sell and serve alcohol while their boat is docked. These operators may also add a new outdoor licensed area adjacent to their docked boat. Although the Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario (AGCO) will not require liquor licensed boat operators to apply or pay a fee for these temporary physical extensions, the operators must ensure they have municipal approval and meet all other applicable requirements. These measures will be in place until January 1, 2021 at 3:00 a.m.

The requirements that apply to alcohol sales, service and delivery will continue to apply to licensed boats and liquor delivery services, including checking ID, Smart Serve training and not serving or selling to intoxicated people.

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“The AGCO remains committed to supporting businesses and workers who have been significantly impacted by the COVID-19 outbreak, including those who have helped to build Ontario’s vibrant hospitality sector. By allowing more businesses to enter the liquor delivery market, we also hope to offer more convenience and choice for consumers as we all adapt to the current reality.”

Jean Major, Registrar and CEO, AGCO