CRA indicates that a COVID lockdown closing in-store shopping or seated restaurant dining can be a “public health restriction” notwithstanding curbside pickups or deliveries/take-out
Regarding whether the “public health restriction” definition would apply to retail stores or food court restaurants in a shopping mall subject to a COVID lockdown, the Directorate stated:
[W]here a particular order or decision prohibits customers from physically entering a Store to shop, then “in-person shopping” activities could be considered restricted activities. The fact that customers of a Store are permitted to collect their orders at a designated location within the shopping mall, via curbside pickup or delivery, would not preclude a Store from having restricted activities related to “in-person shopping”.
Similarly, where a particular order or decision requires public seating areas of a shopping mall available to customers of the Restaurants in the food court to close, such that customers of the Restaurants are no longer permitted access to the seating area of the food court, the Restaurants’ “sit-down dining” activities could be considered restricted activities. The fact that take out service may continue would not preclude the Restaurants from having restricted activities related to “sit-down dining”.
Neal Armstrong. Summary of 7 June 2021 Internal T.I. 2020-0873601I7 under s. 125.7(1) - public health restriction – para. (f).