NSW supermarkets and pharmacies can now operate 24/7

NSW supermarkets and pharmacies can now operate 24/7

While there may be restrictions around what you can do when you leave home, in NSW you will at least be free to choose when you shop for groceries or medicine, whether it's 3pm or 3am.

That is if supermarkets and pharmacies make the most of the state government's latest relaxation of laws to guarantee access to essential goods at all times during the Covid-19 pandemic.

Changes to the Environmental Planning and Assessment Act 1979 today enabled Planning and Public Spaces Minister Rob Stokes to issue his first order to override normal planning controls restricting hours of operation.

"These orders cut red tape so we can move quickly and decisively to ensure the health, wellbeing and safety of our community during this time," says Stokes.

"The focus of our first order is giving people flexibility to visit their local supermarket, pharmacy or corner store at any time of day if those retail premises choose to operate for extended hours.

"This means the community will have access to food, medical supplies and essential household goods whenever they need it."

He says stores will also be able to dispose of their waste at any time of day, rather than during restricted hours, to dispose of the significant and sudden increase in stock.

The order also provides greater flexibility for home-based businesses to operate at any time and expand their business as necessary.

"For those businesses operating out of home, we are facilitating more flexible operating hours and increasing the number of people working together from two to five, providing they can abide by the social distancing rules," Mr Stokes said.

"This is important as more and more people work from home and need flexible working arrangements."

Updated at 5:46pm AEDT on 25 March 2020.

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