Heading out for groceries in Hamilton? Be prepared for new rules

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When Corina Hustaks four-year-old daughter tugged at her hip asking why they couldnt get ice cream, she didnt know what to say.

The single mother was standing outside the front door of a Sobeys, just off Stone Church Road East, the same grocer she visits every week. For some reason, she wasnt allowed in.

A worker came up to us and said, ‘Im so sorry I have to do this,” said Hustak, who is home caring for her child and unable to work due to daycare closures. And I thought she was just going to tell me to wait in line until someone came out, because theyre at capacity.”

The worker paused.

Youre not allowed to come into the store,” Hustak recalls them saying. Were not allowing more than single shoppers. And my daughter just kept saying, ‘Mommy, what are we going to do?”

After The Spectator reported Friday that Hustak and her daughter were refused entry, a letter from the CEO of Sobeys to customers on Saturday said the chain is encouraging customers, to the extent they are able, to designate one family member to shop for their family.”

Major food retailers across Hamilton have recently rejigged their guest shopping policies to further the countrys social distancing efforts.

For some, that means placing a cap on their number of in-store customers.

On Wednesday, after the ordeal at Sobeys, Hustak hopped in her car and drove to Metro, who is accepting more than one customer per family but asking to shoppers to be courteous.

We are asking people to have one shopper per family to practise social distancing, but its something thats not being policed or enforced,” said Stephanie Bonk, communications manager for Metro.

Costco, meanwhile, announced Friday it will no longer allow more than two people per membership to enter its warehouse. The company said its a temporary change for the safety of customers and employees.

Food Basics has deployed security guards to each of its three city stores, where they bar entry once customer numbers reach either 25 or 50, depending on the grocers size.

Fortinos, which doesnt have a fixed cap, said theyve been monitoring crowd numbers and barring entry is possible if a store becomes too congested.