Shopping, dining, and support services (COVID-19)

There are many things you can do to limit the spread of COVID-19 (novel coronavirus) while shopping in stores or ordering food. As much as possible, Ontarians are encouraged to limit outings to essentials like going to work or school, picking up groceries, attending a medical appointment, or engaging in outdoor physical activity. For all outings, continue to practise COVID-safe behaviours like physical distancing and wearing a face covering in enclosed public spaces.

Remember, if you have any symptoms of COVID-19 or have been told to self-isolate, you need to stay home and avoid public spaces. You cannot go into stores or restaurants.

Ask for help

If you need help, ask a friend, family member, neighbour, or delivery service to get your food or other essentials. Buy only what you need. There is no need to stockpile.

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Protect yourself while in stores

Unless you are using a delivery or pickup service, going inside a store is a necessary outing to get the products you need.

Currently in effect: any customer, employee or visitor who enters an enclosed public space, including a business, organization or public transit must wear a mask or face covering. All public transit and business owners and operators in Sudbury and districts must have policies in place to stop people from entering if they are not wearing a face covering.

Watch the Retail Council of Canada’s #ShopSmart video for more tips to shop safely.

Can food or packaging spread COVID-19?

Current evidence suggests that the way COVID-19 is transmitted is through direct contact and respiratory droplets that have the potential of being propelled for up to two metres. There is no evidence to show that COVID-19 spreads through food. It is possible, but understood to be less common, that a person could become infected by touching a surface or object that has the virus on it and then touching your mouth, nose, or eyes. The risk of becoming infected from packaging is very low, because the virus does not survive very long on these surfaces.

What to do when you get your food home

Takeout and delivery services—reducing your risk

Dining at restaurants— reducing your risk

What food should I buy?

Buy affordable, nutritious foods that can last a long time in your fridge or pantry. You can plan meals around these foods, which might help you go to the grocery store less often. Here are some ideas about which foods to buy:

Check out these easy recipes for meal ideas (Canadian Public Health Association). They use basic ingredients and taste great! Follow tips to store your food (Love Food Hate Waste Canada). Storing your food properly can help it last longer.

Where to go for help getting food

There are many community resources available if you need help getting food. Ask your local grocery store if curbside pick-up, telephone or online ordering, or delivery options are available.

Emergency help is also available. Call 211 or visit to find resources in your community that can help you get food.

For food bank information, visit They also have information for people who are visiting for the first time.

This item was last modified on October 16, 2020