Alcohol can now be ordered with food takeout and delivery across Ontario

Glasses of beer are seen in this undated photo. (AFP)

Restaurants and bars in Ontario can now sell alcohol with food takeout and delivery orders effective immediately amid the COVID-19 crisis.

The Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario (AGCO) made the announcement Thursday saying that the move applies to orders between the hours of 9 a.m. and 11 p.m.

Bars and restaurants can start offering the service immediately and there is no application process or fee required. Liquor may also be sold for takeout or delivery through a third party, such as a food delivery service or ordering platform.

“The holder of the liquor sales licence is accountable for the responsible sale and delivery of alcohol,” the AGCO said on Thursday. “This includes making sure the person to whom the order is delivered is at least 19 and is not intoxicated.”

The licensee or its staff involved in the delivery must have completed Smart Serve training, but the AGCO said that in instances where the delivery is being carried out by a third party on behalf of the licensee, then Smart Serve certification is required by April 25.

“Additionally, the AGCO is temporarily allowing authorized grocery stores and liquor manufacturer retail stores to begin selling alcohol as of 7 a.m. in order to support early shopping programs for vulnerable people and to provide greater flexibility to retail stores.”

The AGCO said it is also extending all active liquor, gaming and cannabis licences, authorizations and registrations by three months.

“In all cases, licensees do not need to do anything. Existing licences will simply remain in effect for the extended period, at no additional cost,” The AGCO said.