A plexiglass barrier is pictured creating a barrier to protect a cashier at a grocery store in North Vancouver, B.C. Sunday, March 22, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward

B.C. issues guidelines about distancing, reusable bags to grocery stores amid COVID-19

Hand sanitizer and markers to keep lines two metres are apart are needed, province says

The province has released specific guidelines for grocery stores and retail food outlets to adhere to during the COVID-19 crisis.

Both are considered essential services and remain open throughout the pandemic and are exempt from the province’s ban on gatherings of 50 or more people.

READ MORE: B.C. bans ‘shameful black market’ of food, medical supplies; limits buying quantities

In Sunday’s news release, province said “the spirit of the order should be followed.” Many grocery stores have already set up floor markers to keep lineups properly spaced out, while some have given cashiers gloves and installed plexiglass barriers at checkouts.

The guidelines issued by the province include:

  • Enhancing the premise’s sanitation plan and schedule, and ensuring staff are practising proper hygiene, including hand washing, sneezing into elbows, and not touching their faces
  • Hand sanitizer should be placed near doors, checkouts and other “high-touch” locations for customer and staff use
  • Washrooms must be well stocked with soap and paper towels, with warm running water available
  • Providing clean disposable bags instead of asking customers to use their own reusable ones
  • Posting signs at checkouts that no customer packaging is to be used
  • Placing markers on the floor to provide two metres of spacing in lineups
  • Using queue-control measures, like cordoning off lineups to get into the store and to checkouts
  • Do not sell bulk products unless they are in gravity-fed bins or if staff are dispensing the items
  • Anyone with COVID-19-like symptoms, such as a sore throat, fever, sneezing or coughing, must self-isolate at home for 14 days.

COVID-19: Here’s what is considered an essential service in B.C.

READ MORE: BC Liquor Stores closing on Sundays, seeing skyrocketing sales amid COVID-19


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