You can finally head to your favourite stores in Alberta again soon. Well, as long as you don't look sick. Retail stores in the province can reopen on May 14 as part of Stage 1 of Alberta's reopening plan. Though, according to the Government of Alberta stores can bar you from entering if you're showing any COVID-19 symptoms.
The province has launched a detailed guide on how workplaces all over Alberta can approach the reopening and how they can ensure the health and safety of customers and employees.
The relaunch guideline for retail businesses says that retail stores should screen patrons and workers for COVID-19 symptoms.
On top of that, the stores need to have a plan in place so that any worker or patron showing COVID-19 symptoms is not allowed inside.
So if you're caught looking under the weather while shopping, the store is well within its right to stop you from entering or kick you out if you're browsing around.
The list of symptoms was updated for Albertans on May 5 and now includes chills, sore throat, runny nose, headaches, muscle aches, fatigue, nausea, diarrhea, vomiting, pink eye, or even feeling unwell in general.
Additionally, Dr. Deena Hinshaw, the Chief Medical Officer of Health in Alberta, confirmed in a press briefing that malls have been told to hang up signs at the entrance to remind the public to stay home if they're sick.
The shopping malls are already going to have a whole bunch of new rules for both businesses and shoppers.
The guidance document makes it clear that the stores themselves are going to have to follow their own protocol to make sure everyone is safe.
For example, stores have to clean and disinfect shopping baskets and carts after each use.
They might have to install barriers and markers to make sure that patrons are at least six feet away from cashiers. The cashiers must handle cash in gloves. There's going to be deep sanitization for everything, basically.
On top of that, return policies will be updated.
This means that stores can now only sell items on a final-sale basis so you're stuck with what you purchased.
Stores are also being told to offer extensive online deliveries or curbside pick up services to further spread the transmission of COVID-19.
You can also expect to see hand sanitizing stations everywhere including entrances, exits, escalators, changing rooms, and checkout counters.
Plus, if you've gotten a taste of the long line-ups, get ready for more.
Stores are being told to limit the number of patrons that can be allowed at once, so there will be more waiting involved to get your (clean) hands on your favourite goodies.