MONTREAL, March 13, 2020 /CNW Telbec/ - The Société des alcools du Québec (SAQ) is sensitive to Quebecers' growing concerns about the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) and has implemented measures aimed at minimizing the health risks for employees and customers and ensuring a safe working and shopping environment. The SAQ's senior management has set up a dedicated committee that meets daily to assess the level of risk associated with COVID-19 and make sure the appropriate procedures have been implemented and explained to employees and customers.
Effective immediately, the SAQ will not hold tastings of any kind in its store network until the pandemic is over. This covers tastings for customers and well as employee tastings with industry representatives.
The SAQ has also implemented additional sanitary measures, including:
- More frequent cleaning of its stores, especially the Inspire touch-screen terminals and payment terminals;
- Making antiviral products, such as hand sanitizers, available to employees and customers;
- Regularly reminding all employees of the hygiene practices they should adopt to avoid transmitting the virus, in particular frequent hand-washing.
As a precaution, the SAQ has asked all its employees, including store employees, who have travelled abroad in the last two weeks to stay at home after returning. They will be paid for the 14-day self-isolation period. Similarly, the SAQ encourages customers who have recently travelled abroad or are experiencing flu-like symptoms to do their shopping online on SAQ.com or via the mobile app instead of at a store.
SAQ Inspire and SAQ Signature events cancelled
In accordance with the recommendations issued yesterday by the Quebec government and to avoid unnecessary gatherings, the SAQ is cancelling or postponing all events for SAQ Inspire and SAQ Signature customers through the end of May. The impacted customers will be contacted with the cancellation details as soon as possible.
Impact on supply
At this point, the SAQ does not anticipate any product supply problems in its stores. The Category Management team is in constant contact with producers around the globe to stay informed of the latest developments. The SAQ also notes that, according to Health Canada, products from countries experiencing a COVID-19 outbreak do not pose a particular risk.
Employee health and well-being
Our employees are essential to our continued operation and their health is our top concern. That is why the SAQ has issued the following additional guidelines, which remain in effect until further notice:
- All employees who can do so are encouraged to work from home;
- All business meetings with agents, suppliers and other visitors will be by videoconferencing or telephone;
- In addition to cancelling all business travel by employees, the SAQ recommends that employees cancel any personal travel abroad they may have planned through April 30.
SOURCE Société des alcools du Québec - SAQ
For further information: Linda Bouchard, SAQ Media Relations, 514 254-6000, ext. 5385, [email protected]