Ontario Premier Doug Ford says he will call the province's major grocery store chains to ask that they remain open over Easter holiday weekend to try and prevent crowding and to allow for social distancing as the COVID-19 virus continues to spread.
Through email communications and social media posts, grocery chains have been recommending customers get shopping for their Easter and Passover meals done early in the week because stores will be closed on Friday and Sunday.
Speaking to media at a press conference at Queen's Park on Monday afternoon, Ford said he would make "personal calls" to the CEOs of the "six big chains" to ask if they could stay open all weekend to avoid a rush of shoppers heading into the holiday. (Ford also said he would ask Vic Fedli, the province's minister of economic development, job creation and trade, to look into the matter.)
Ford advised Ontarians to heed the advice of grocers and to get their shopping done early, but also asked them to consider ordering in.
"I know it's very very tough times right now, but if anyone, if they have the money and can order take out and get it delivered or picked up it takes the pressure of the retail system as well and also puts a little money into these restaurants that are struggling to keep afloat," he said.