COVID-19: the SAQ will stop accepting cash, limit hours and customers in branches


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

SAQ branches 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 should be handled by the customers themselves. This is also the case for Inspire loyalty cards.

In-store traffic must also respect social distancing measures:

  • SAQ and Express: Maximum 10 customers

  • Selection: Maximum 20 clients

  • Deposit: Maximum 50 at the Marche Centrale and Québec branches and 35 at all others.

These measures will remain in effect until further notice.

The SAQ had previously announced that it was reducing all tastings and other events and that it had increased the frequency of cleanings.


The SAQ said it was disbursing $ 1 million to help food banks across the province, which need help more than ever due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The provincial liquor board also invites its customers to join the effort to support the Food Banks of Quebec (BAQ) by making a online donation on the BAQ website.

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

Until further notice, the SAQ will also remit the $ 12 home delivery charge from the SAQ to the Food Banks of Quebec.

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