HALIFAX -- The Nova Scotia Liquor Corporation (NSLC) is reducing the hours its stores are open in an effort to control the outbreak of COVID-19.

Effective Wednesday, all stores will be open from 11 a.m. until 7 p.m., Monday to Saturday, for all customers. 

The stores will open an hour earlier, from 10 a.m. to 11 a.m., for seniors and people who are at a higher risk of contracting the novel coronavirus.

Stores will now be closed on Sundays. Agency stores will follow the same hours.

“We made this decision in the best interest of our employees and our customers,” said Greg Hughes, president and CEO of the NSLC. “We are making every effort to stay open as we work to balance protecting our employees and the public with providing service to our customers.”

Hughes says the reduced hours will allow more time for cleaning.

The NSLC stresses it has sufficient inventory, so it is urging customers not to stock up on extra product.

The corporation is asking people who have symptoms to stay home and says it will be limiting the number of customers to no more than 50 in a store at any given time. 

It is also reminding customers that they can purchase cannabis and a limited selection of beverages online.

“It’s important that we look out for one another and do what we can to help prevent the spread of this virus,” Hughes said. “We appreciate your understanding and hope that everyone takes the appropriate precautions to protect themselves, their families and their neighbours.”