TORONTO, ON – Following up on a promise made in October, the Ontario Government has announced that temporary legislation implemented earlier this year to allow bars and restaurants in Ontario to sell alcohol for take-out and delivery has become permanent.
Originally introduced in March as part of a wave of changes to help businesses in the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic, the law was to be in effect until December 31st, but will now stay on the books indefinitely, with a few changes going into effect as of January 1st, 2021 to make things easier for participating businesses.
While the hours of alcohol take-out and delivery remain set at 9:00 AM to 11:00 PM, and all orders must still include food, the clause that limited sales to “sealed and unopened” containers has been changed to “securely closed” containers. This will allow licensees to legally sell draught beer and pre-mixed cocktails in containers such as growlers and closed mason jars.
In addition, while the temporary rules indicated that all individuals making alcohol deliveries were required to have their own Smart Serve licence, the permanent law states that third-party delivery services will now require a Liquor Delivery Service Licence which will apply to all of its employees and contractors.
For more details on these liquor legislation changes and others that were announced at the same time, see the Ontario Government press release, and the AGCO Information Bulletin.