Manitoba to allow booze with restaurant delivery, takeout orders

The Manitoba Government is allowing restaurants to deliver booze with takeout and delivery orders. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP, Eric Risberg

Manitobans can now order booze with takeout or delivery orders from their favourite restaurant.

After taking heat from restaurants for not allowing beer, wine and spirits on delivery and takeout orders during the COVID-19 pandemic, the province announced changes to the rules Monday.

“We have heard from restaurant owners who have expressed a strong interest in selling wine, beer and single-serve beverages through food take out or delivery service, and had already started the process of bringing in necessary changes,” said Crown Services Minister Jeff Wharton, in a release.

READ MORE: Manitoba should allow liquor with restaurant delivery, takeout orders during COVID-19: advocate

“These businesses have been significantly impacted by the outbreak of COVID-19 and by allowing this flexibility now, restaurants will be able to offer an additional service to customers when it is needed most.”

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Manitoba businesses struggling through COVID-19 – Mar 30, 2020

Under the new rules, liquor delivery and takeout orders must be linked to meal orders offered by licensed establishments whose primary business is food.

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The province says liquor pricing will be the same as in-dining service menu prices.

Wharton said allowing licensed establishments to sell liquor with take out and delivery will provide “greater opportunities and flexibility for businesses significantly impacted by COVID-19, and more choice and convenience for consumers coping with the pandemic at home.”

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On Friday the Manitoba Restaurant & Foodservices Association called out Manitoba’s government for not allowing restaurants to add booze to delivery and takeout orders.

Last week, Ontario amended a regulation to allow bars and restaurants to temporarily sell alcohol as part of a food order for takeout or delivery due to the pandemic, and British Columbia, Alberta, and Saskatchewan have also allowed the practice.

READ MORE: Avoiding ‘unintended consequences’: Manitoba Liquor Marts stay open amid COVID-19

On Monday, the province also announced measures forcing all non-essential businesses to shut down to try to slow the spread of COVID-19.

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Starting Wednesday, salons, spas, bars and other establishments are to be closed, but restaurants will be allowed to remain open for takeout or delivery only.

— With files from The Canadian Press

Questions about COVID-19? Here are some things you need to know:

Health officials caution against all international travel. Returning travellers are legally obligated to self-isolate for 14 days, beginning March 26, in case they develop symptoms and to prevent spreading the virus to others. Some provinces and territories have also implemented additional recommendations or enforcement measures to ensure those returning to the area self-isolate.

Symptoms can include fever, cough and difficulty breathing — very similar to a cold or flu. Some people can develop a more severe illness. People most at risk of this include older adults and people with severe chronic medical conditions like heart, lung or kidney disease. If you develop symptoms, contact public health authorities.

To prevent the virus from spreading, experts recommend frequent handwashing and coughing into your sleeve. They also recommend minimizing contact with others, staying home as much as possible and maintaining a distance of two metres from other people if you go out.

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