MONTREAL -- Quebec’s alcohol outlets are adopting new preventive measures to help stop the spread of COVID-19.

SAQ outlets will now open no earlier than 10 a.m. and close no later than 6 p.m.

As a preventive hygiene measure, customers can no longer pay in cash. Only credit and debit cards are now accepted and these must be handled by the customers themselves. This is also the case for the Inspire loyalty cards.

Store traffic will also need to comply with social distancing measures:

  • SAQ and Express: Maximum 10 customers
  • Selection: Maximum 20 customers
  • Depot: Maximum 50 at the Marche Centrale and Quebec City outlets, and 35 at all others.

These measures will remain in effect until further notice.

The SAQ previously announced that it is curtailing all tastings and other events and that it had increased the frequency of cleaning.


The SAQ said it is chipping in $1 million to help the province’s food banks, who need help more than ever due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The provincial liquor authority is also inviting its customers to join in the effort to support the Quebec Food Banks (BAQ) by making an online donation on the BAQ website.

“Today more than ever, the SAQ wishes to support Quebecers. We have supported Quebec Food Banks for 11 years and we believe that it was important to act now when the needs are particularly acute and we are going through a period of great uncertainty,” said SAQ president and CEO Catherine Dagenais.

Until further notice, the SAQ will also donate the $12 SAQ home delivery fees to Quebec Food Banks.