Booze hounds rejoice: things are getting back to normal at the Société des alcools du Québec (SAQ). On Tuesday, the province's liquor commission announced the resumption of Sunday liquor sales and the extension of opening hours starting June 7. SAQ Express branches will once again be open from 1 p.m. to 7 p.m. on Sundays.
All other branches, including SAQ Dépôt and SAQ Sélection, will close at 7 p.m. on Thursdays and Fridays and will open from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. on Sundays.
The announcement arrives after the SAQ adopted a number of preventive measures to stop the spread of COVID-19 in March. Plexiglass barriers were installed at checkout counters and customers were encouraged to pay with plastic instead of cash. Stores could stay open no later than 6 p.m. and were closed on Sundays.
Some of these measures remain in place and the number of customers allowed per store is still restricted for now, the company said.
SAQ and SAQ Express stores will accept a maximum of 7 people, SAQ Sélection a maximum of 15, and SAQ Dépôt a maximum of 35.
Sadly, free samples of alcohol have yet to return.
In April, in a bid to reduce the spread of the novel coronavirus, the company introduced a home delivery service through which booze could be brought right to your door for a $12 fee.
The SAQ, in partnership with Purolator, has been donating the proceeds to Food Banks of Quebec (FBQ), raising more than $845,000, according to the company.
The SAQ said it has given a grand total of $2,865,444 million to the FBQ over the last three months, making it the "largest single donor" to the province's network of food banks.
It’s still possible to order products online from SAQ.com at any time.
Province-wide, 15 SAQ employees have contracted the novel coronavirus, 11 of whom have been authorized to return to work.