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Home / News / COVID-19 / Ontario gov’t says restaurants can add alcohol to deliveries, grocery stores can sell booze at 7am

Ontario gov’t says restaurants can add alcohol to deliveries, grocery stores can sell booze at 7am

The Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario stated today that the Government has amended Regulation 719 under the Liquor Licence Act (LLA) to temporarily allow liquor sales licensees (i.e., licensed bars and restaurants) to sell beer, wine and spirits as part of a food order for takeout or delivery.  These changes are effective immediately, and last until December 31, 2020.

You won’t be able to place an alcohol only order but if you order food you can add it to the order. And the restaurants must have a liquor license.

Also any alcohol ordered must be sealed in the can or bottle.

Additionally, grocery stores that sell alcohol have now been granted permission to sell it as early as 7 am when the seniors are doing their exclusive shopping.

Both allowances for alcohol will only be valid during the pandemic or until the government eases the social distancing rules.

Here are the rules for buying alcohol from restaurants during COVID-19 outbreak:

  • All types of liquor may be sold for takeout or delivery, but must be purchased together with food. This includes beer and wine made under a brew pub or wine pub endorsement.
  • Liquor sold for takeout or delivery must be in a sealed and unopened container.
  • The permitted hours of sale and delivery of liquor with food are 9 a.m. to 11 p.m.
  • Liquor may be sold for takeout or delivery through a third party, such as a food delivery service or ordering platform, provided they are acting on behalf of the licensee.   
  • There is no limit on the amount of liquor that may be sold for takeout or delivery.
  • The licensee must ensure that any persons involved in the sale or delivery of liquor have completed Smart Serve training, including any third parties acting as agent for the licensee.In response to this extraordinary circumstance, the Government of Ontario is allowing agents who are not yet Smart Serve certified to begin delivering liquor on behalf of licensees, as long as they obtain their Smart Serve certification by April 25, 2020.  The liquor sales licensee remains accountable for the responsible sale and delivery.
  • In order to increase the availability of certified delivery drivers, the AGCO and Smart Serve are partnering to offer free registration to the responsible service certification program from April 1 – 30, 2020. Please visit Smart Serve – Ontario for more information.
  • Liquor cannot be sold or delivered to anyone under 19 years old or anyone who is intoxicated.  Licensees, employees or agents must ask for and inspect identification if they think anyone is under 19 years old.
  • The licensee must ensure that liquor is not sold for takeout, or delivered, to anyone who is, or appears to be, intoxicated.  This includes where the liquor is delivered by a third party on behalf of the licensee. Where a third party is acting as an agent for the licensee, the AGCO expects that the licensee and the agent have an agreement that addresses how the delivery will meet responsible sale and service requirements.  
  • The licensee must keep records of liquor that was sold for takeout and for delivery, and keep those records for one year. The delivery order information that must be collected and retained is noted below.
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