Charlottetown liquor store reopens with stern warning

The P.E.I. government will open the Oak Tree Liquor Store in Charlottetown, but officials say people will have to obey the rules.

Last week the government shut down all its liquor stores to promote social distancing during the COVID-19 pandemic. It was part of an announcement asking all non-essential businesses to close.

But a rush on stores in advance of the closures prompted the government to reconsider.

Stephen Myers, chair of the Government Operations Special Cabinet Committee, said Tuesday during a media briefing people at the store will have to practise social distancing.

"We're going to have security there. Social distancing is an absolute must," said Myers.

"If we find that people are not following the prescription that's laid out by Dr. Morrison in social distancing then we'll just close it. It's as simple as that. People have an option to try to make this work by following what they've been told to do when they're out in public, or we'll just take it away."

Agency stores, which are run by private operators, remained open, but they are all located in rural areas. Myers said opening the Oak Tree store was to provide an option for people in the city.

This is being done to address the needs of those who are at risk of alcohol withdrawal, he said.

The store will be open Monday through Saturday between 11 a.m. and 6 p.m. A special shopping hour, between 10 a.m. and 11 a.m., is being set aside for seniors and those with a compromised immune system.

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