Shops are reopening after COVID-19, and some are adding a new line to your bill to pay for it

A server wears a face mask as two women have drinks on the patio at a restaurant in Vancouver this week. Added costs for items such as personal protective equipment have prompted some businesses to start charging customers directly for them. 
Darryl Dyck/Canadian Press

Date of Publication: May 23, 2020

Source: CBC

As businesses begin to re-open, Canadians are faced with a new COVID-19 surcharge being added to their bills. This news comes in light of retailers having their biggest sales plunge in March as social distancing requirements forced many businesses to shut down. Many businesses have had to not only purchase personal protective equipment, disinfectant, and assign extra staff hours, but also limit the number of customers that will be permitted to enter their store. These additional costs are being passed onto the customers in order for businesses to survive. “The first thing is they need to be fully transparent,” said David Soberman, professor at the Rotman School of Management at the University of Toronto. “Before a customer agrees to buy something, they [the company] need to make sure that the customer is aware that those fees will be applied to the bill, and they should be aware completely of what the actual amount will be so that they can make a decision of whether or not to complete the transaction or not.”

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Summary by: Joseph Chon