Stores in Montreal just began reopening and this is what it was like on the first day
Stores in Montreal reopened their doors today after shutting down operation for roughly eight weeks, prompting people to rush downtown to shop.
The city is the last region in Quebec to open stores, and only shops with an outdoor entrance and social distancing measures in place were permitted to reopen.
Still, Montrealers took full advantage of the few stores that were available to them; multiple pictures of long lineups have been posted to social media, including a line of 40 people waiting to enter Simons, a popular department store downtown.
Shoppers were asked to follow the white and green arrows on the pavement, and markers were placed to indicate where the line-up should start.
Line up for Best Buy in Montreal on reopening day. pic.twitter.com/aEdovziFNI— Joel Goldenberg (@JoelGoldenberg1) May 25, 2020
Montreal shoppers were also encouraged to use the city's pedestrian corridors, which allows people to pass by long lineups while maintaining a healthy distance.
Canceling the parking and widening the sidewalk is working for the businesses as they adapt to long lines outside in Montreal. So walkers can pass with physical distance and people can wait outside safely. PS: this line is for a bicycle shop. pic.twitter.com/MMcv4ImWwT— Ahmed El-Geneidy (@ahmedelgeneidy) May 25, 2020
While Montreal residents might be used to waiting in line for bars or nightclubs, waiting to be let into a store by a masked security guard was certainly a new experience.
But it wasn't just the lineups that were new; once shoppers were inside the store, they found a number of protective measures in place, such as plexiglass barriers near the cash register, hand sanitizer, and contactless pay.
Some businesses also limited the amount of customers that were allowed inside the store; H&M stores, for example, only allowed a maximum of 14 people.
Plenty of people in Montreal were also donning masks, which provincial officials are encouraging residents to wear, although they haven't made them mandatory.
"We're all going to have to get used to wearing a mask in public," Premier François Legault wrote on Twitter on May 12. "The objective is to protect others. It's a matter of respect."
Montreal continues to be the hardest-hit city in Canada, with more than 24,000 COVID-19 cases as of Monday, accounting for roughly half of the cases in Quebec.
Join the conversation Load comments