BARRIE, ONT. -- Two Home Hardware stores in Parry Sound and Gravenhurst allow in-person shopping, which has caught residents' attention amid the provincial lockdown.

The Parry Sound store owner said he's able to operate with a 25 per cent capacity, which equals 10 customers, but says he allows only five people as an added precaution.

Home Hardware head office wrote in a statement to CTV News, "All of our stores are independently owned, and we advise each one to follow provincial and local guidelines. In Ontario, this means operating with curbside pickup and delivery only."

The statement goes on to say, "In the case of Gravenhurst Home Hardware and Parry Sound Home Hardware, the dealer-owner has been in contact with, Simcoe Muskoka District Health Unit, North Bay Parry Sound District Health Unit, OPP and bylaw.

The dealer-owner has been given written permission for both stores to remain open for in-store shopping under section 42 as it operates as a farm supply store by supporting the food and agricultural products supply chains and the health and safety of food, animals and plants."

Residents concerned about the stores remaining open likely wouldn't be aware of the exemption.

Less than a week ago, a Home Hardware in Alcona was forced to offer curbside or delivery only after the owners unsuccessfully tried to find a loophole to allow customers inside.

Stores selling non-essential goods have to close and operate solely through e-commerce and curbside pickups during the province-wide shutdown.

The province says 25 tickets were issued during a weekend blitz of big-box stores that were found breaking public health rules.

Under the provincial rules, corporations can face $1,000 fines, and workers can face fines of $750 for not following health measures.

With files from The Canadian Press