Coronavirus: Starbucks shifts to take out-only in Quebec, Ottawa stores

Starbucks Canada says its company-owned stores in Quebec and Ottawa will temporarily be take out-only. Starbucks Canada

Starbucks Canada is temporarily shifting to a “to-go” model in all of its stores across Quebec and Ottawa, bolstering its safety measures in response to a surge of coronavirus cases.

The cafe giant announced Thursday that customers visiting its company-operated stores in Quebec and the nation’s capital will still be allowed to pick up drinks and food as normal but no longer be able to use any indoor or outdoor seating areas.

Starbucks said in a release it was moving to the to-go model to keep its employees and customers safe, and highlighted the Quebec government’s decision earlier in the week to limit dining to take out-only in three areas of the province.

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Under the new measures, which come into effect on Thursday in Montreal, Quebec City and certain parts of the Chaudière-Appalaches region, private gatherings are banned and bars, taverns and restaurant dining rooms are being forced to close for a 28-day period.

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These red zone restrictions are meant to curb the spread of the novel coronavirus across Quebec, which saw more than 800 new COVID-19 cases on Wednesday amid a second wave of the pandemic in the province.

Read more: What’s allowed and what’s not in Quebec’s coronavirus red zones

Infections are surging as well in Ottawa, with Medical Officer of Health Dr. Vera Etches saying Wednesday that the nation’s capital could see 200 new cases per day in October. Ottawa set a new record for its largest daily increase with 105 new coronavirus cases on Tuesday.

Unlike in Quebec, Ontario Premier Doug Ford has not indicated that hot spots in the province such as Ottawa, Toronto and Peel region will see targeted restrictions introduced to curb the spread of the virus.

Last month, Starbucks also made masks mandatory in all of its stores.


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