Let the shopping begin … or resume. Today is the long-awaited day when Montreal stores, those with dedicated entrances from the sidewalk, not those located in malls, can reopen. Back to normal you say. Nope.
The city has engaged sixty additional security staff to make the rounds of stores to make certain COVID-19 regulations are being observed. The number of people allowed into a store at one time will be limited. Shoppers will be strongly urged to wear masks and maintain social distancing procedures. Ideally ‘shopping’ will be more of a grab-pay-dash activity.
While I fear this reopening is premature, I wish all the shopowners the very best of luck. If your place of business is downtown, you’re going to need it!
I went for a stroll on Saturday, a beautiful hot sunny day. As the old saying goes you could have fired a cannon down Ste. Catherine without causing anyone any harm. Except for the fact that longs tracts of the street are torn-up by roadwork that has been in abeyance during the lockdown.
One of the nice things about the pause in economic activity was the absolute plethora of available parking spots downtown. Unfortunately once you parked there was nothing to do. Stores, restaurants, and bars were all closed. But I have a feeling the few remaining spots, those that have not fallen victim to roadwork, BIXI stands or security measure (the U.S. Consulate alone costs the better part of two streets worth of parking spots).
So while merchants are eager to get back to business, and shoppers have money burning a hole in their pockets, keep in mind that the old downtown problem – parking – is not any better, and may well be worse than before the shutdown. I fear that many people with the ability to drive, will, more so than ever, ignore please to use public transit.
There is something wrong with governments that implore people to both practice social distancing and take public transit.