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Supermarkets will be allowed to restock 24 hours a day in New South Wales in a bid to end coronavirus grocery shortages

Jack Derwin

The New South Wales Government is taking measures to try and ease shortages at supermarkets around the state.

On Friday, it implemented new rules which allow supermarkets to receive deliveries and operate loading docks at all hours of the day and night, overriding local council restrictions.

"We need to make sure these products can move from factories to shelves as quickly as possible," Premier Gladys Berejiklian said in a statement announcing the move.

While shortages have appeared across the country, governments at all levels have reassured Australians they aren't reflective of actual supply shortages. Heightened demand and so-called 'panic buying', due to the coronavirus, have seen shoppers simply outpace deliveries and exacerbate the situation, the New South Wales government has claimed.

It has seen the likes of Woolworths and Coles introduce strict purchase restrictions of their own on in-demand products, like toilet paper, rice, and hand sanitiser. The new state amendment should help ease pressure on essential items, according to Planning Minister Rob Stokes.

"Councils and retailers have been working well together to allow greater flexibility in delivery hours and this change gives everyone the certainty we need to ensure these deliveries can continue," Stokes said.

It marks the latest effort to eradicate the anxiety-inducing sight of empty shelves after Woolworths and Coles both announced they would shut stores at 8 pm so staff were able to fully restock by the morning's trade.
Whether or not receiving goods all night will supply the demand will quickly become apparent.