Coronavirus: Licensed restaurants, bars can now offer alcohol for takeout, delivery orders

Coronavirus: Licensed restaurants, bars can now offer alcohol for takeout, delivery orders
WATCH: Policy change allows licensed restaurants and bars to offer alcohol for takeout and delivery.

A Saskatoon business owner said she is excited to be able to offer customers a “more whole experience” after the Saskatchewan Liquor and Gaming Authority (SLGA) changed their regulations allowing licensed restaurants and bars to offer alcohol for takeout and delivery.

“If you’re ordering food and you’re stuck at home, to be able to have the drinks that you would have had if you were at the restaurant but just in the comfort of your home and the safety of your home, that’s a great thing to be able to offer people,” said Carmen Hamm, co-owner of Taste Restaurant Group.

READ MORE: Discarding food unnecessary for Saskatchewan restaurants as need for donations grows

Taste owns four restaurants in Saskatoon: Una, Bar Gusto, Picaro, and Cohen’s Beer Republic.

The province announced the change in March when they declared a state of emergency due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

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A statement released by the provincial government outlines how licensed restaurants and bars are permitted to sell alcohol for takeout and delivery indefinitely.

The delivery can only be made by a staff member who is 19 or older or by a delivery company if they have a home delivery liquor permit.

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The alcohol needs to be in a closed and sealed container and the customer may be asked to show identification.

“[ID] could be displayed by the customer through a window or placed in a neutral area between the customer and the delivery person so that both sides can maintain social distancing and limit the handling of the ID,” SLGA spokesperson David Morris said.

READ MORE: 25,000 food-service jobs lost in Saskatchewan during COVID-19: survey

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Hamm said she’s not sure if customers were aware that not all restaurants could offer takeout and delivery of alcohol products before the pandemic, but she is starting to see an increase in liquor sales.

“We’re also seeing a lot of interesting social dynamics coming out of it.”

A few weeks ago a group of friends called Una to order snacks and wine for delivery but instead of meeting up in person, the friends connected through video chat, Hamm said.

“It’s been cool to see all these different social interactions are kind of stemming out of the new polices and the new reality we’re living in right now,” Hamm said.

Hamm said the restaurant is expecting to see more of an increase in delivery orders as more people stay home.

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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.

For full COVID-19 coverage from Global News, click here.