Supermarkets and pharmacies can continue to trade and receive deliveries 24 hours a day as rules introduced by the NSW Government have been extended until next year.
The Government responded to the COVID-19 pandemic in March by amending the Environmental Planning and Assessment Act 1979 and the State Environmental Planning Policy (Exempt and Complying Development Codes) 2008 to allow around-the-clock trading and delivery hours as well as the extension of café and restaurant take away capabilities.
Minister for Planning and Public Spaces Rob Stokes said the orders will be extended for another six months until March 25, 2021.
“Our quick response to the immediate challenges of the pandemic ensured everyone had access to essential household goods, businesses remained viable and the economy kept ticking,” Mr Stokes said.
“Six months down the track it’s obvious we still need this flexibility. The pandemic has taught us that we can be nimble and reduce red tape where necessary.
“We have to live with the virus for a little while yet, so we’ve extended these orders and will review them before the new expiry date in March next year.”
Mr Stokes added that extended operating hours for the construction industry, introduced to ensure COVID Safe working conditions, will also continue.
“The construction industry is a key driver for jobs growth during the recession so we needed to find ways to support it while keeping workers safe from the virus,” he said.
Since March, the NSW Government has issued eight Ministerial orders under the Environmental Planning and Assessment Act 1979 to:
- Extend retail trading, delivery and waste removal hours;
- Allow home businesses to operate 24 hours a day;
- Provide more flexible conditions for takeaway food and beverage facilities, food trucks and ‘dark kitchens’;
- Allow construction sites to operate the same hours on weekends and public holidays as they would on weekdays;
- Permit temporary pop up cycleways within the City of Sydney; and
- Allow temporary vehicle sanitisation stations to be built to provide professional cleaning for taxis, Ubers and community transport vehicles.