safety measures

Stores and restaurants in Canada are getting so creative with safety measures

Sure, you've seen the plexiglass barriers and floor stickers, but what about handles to open doors with your feet? That's just one example of the unique safety measures that stores and restaurants in Canada are taking to keep people safe.

Although Canadians are still encouraged to wear a mask and physically distance wherever possible, venturing into packed venues comes with some risk.

In retail stores, for example, where objects or clothes are frequently changing hands, there's a risk of the COVID-19 virus spreading from customer to customer.

In response, this Mountain Equipment Co-op (MEC) store in Toronto is asking all customers to simply return items to a basket rather than re-shelving them.

Both restaurants and retail stores also have to consider how to limit the risk of high-touch areas, such as card machines, counters or tables, and door handles.

In Calgary, Yegna Ethiopian has installed a nifty foot pedal so that restaurant patrons can avoid touching the same surface with their hands.

Some Thai Express, Second Cup and Mucho Burrito stores have also installed the handy (or rather, foot-y) attachments.

Grocery stores are scrapping all food sampling and wiping down shopping cart handles to prevent further spread of the virus, but wiping down food presents a trickier problem since nobody wants to eat chemicals on their carrots.

A supermarket in Toronto might have found a solution with this futuristic XGerminator, which uses UV light to sanitize the food at checkout.

Many stores and restaurants have also installed floor stickers warning people to keep two metres apart, but repeated exposure to the same messaging means that Canadians can become desensitized to it.

Tim Hortons is offering a fresh, playful solution that will keep Canadians invested.

Stay 48 Timbits apart, Canada.

And Tim Hortons isn't the only place with eye-catching custom decals; Calgary ice cream store Made by Marcus installed their own unique, blue floor stickers.

Although drive-thru restaurants in Canada are generally more low risk than dine-in restaurants, businesses have still been forced to get creative with how to create payment methods that still comply with social distancing guidelines.

Enter the "cash-machine-on-hockey-stick" method.

With many retail stores at least partially closing their changing rooms for the foreseeable future, some professionals are also predicting a rise in virtual fitting rooms.

While Holt Renfew is still offering the option of trying on clothes in store, the Canadian department store says that it will also offer distanced shopping options (e.g. virtual styling appointments, touchless beauty consulations) for their customers as stores reopen.

Unlike Shanghai, Canada hasn't quite moved to full-body disinfection spray machines outside of restaurants and retail stores, but it's clear that quite a few places are thinking outside of the box when it comes to safety measures.

Lead photo by

Mika Baumeister

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