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Ontario Temporarily Allowing Alcohol with Takeout & Delivery Orders to Help Restaurants & Bars

The Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario (AGCO) is announcing a number of temporary measures to support Ontarians and businesses that have been significantly impacted by the spread of COVID-19, such as bars and other venues that host live music.

Effective immediately, licensed restaurants and bars in Ontario may sell alcohol with food takeout and delivery orders between the hours of 9 a.m. and 11 p.m. All active liquor licensees may immediately begin offering this service if they choose and there is no application process or fee required. 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.

The holder of the liquor sales licence is accountable for the responsible sale and delivery of alcohol. This includes making sure the person to whom the order is delivered is at least 19 and is not intoxicated. The licensee or its staff involved in the delivery of alcohol must have successfully completed Smart Serve training. In instances where the delivery is being carried out by a third party on behalf of the licensee, Smart Serve certification is required by April 25, 2020.

The AGCO is also extending by three months the term of all active liquor, gaming and cannabis licences, authorizations and registrations during this extraordinary situation. In all cases, licensees do not need to do anything. Existing licences will simply remain in effect for the extended period, at no additional cost.

“Everyone at the AGCO is concerned for the individuals, families, businesses and communities affected by this virus," says  Jean Major, Registrar and CEO of the AGCO. "We are working closely with the Government of Ontario to find ways of supporting Ontarians and the sectors we regulate during these challenging times.”

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Michael Raine is the Senior Editor at Canadian Musician. He is also a co-host of the popular Canadian Musician Radio weekly podcast.
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