SHOPS will be allowed to accept overnight deliveries of essential items as Mornington Peninsula Shire ramps up efforts to tackle the effects of the coronavirus.
CEO John Baker said the shire was determined to “work with the retail sector to ensure supply by providing temporary exemptions from current planning permit conditions and local laws restrictions”.
The 2019 novel coronavirus (COVID-19) had by Friday afternoon spread to 90 countries and territories, including China. Of the 98,370 confirmed cases, 80,667 were in mainland China, 105 in Hong Kong, and 10 in Macau.
Of the 3383 recorded deaths, 3043 were in China, 148 in Italy, 107 in Iran, 41 in South Korea, 12 in Japan, 12 in the US, seven in France, three in Spain, two each in Australia and Iraq, and one each in the Philippines, Switzerland, UK, San Marino, Thailand, and Taiwan.
Lifting the ban on overnight deliveries follows talks between the shire and “retail sector representatives” desperate to keep their shelves stocked while satisfying unprecedented demand from panicked customers.
“In response to the recent shortage of essential items, such as toilet paper and tinned goods, due to concerns relating to the coronavirus, the shire will allow stockists to receive deliveries overnight from 10pm to 7am which is outside the usual delivery window of 7am to 10pm,” Mr Baker said.
“After being approached by the sector, the shire recognises the importance of the availability of essential items to our community.
“Working with our local supermarkets to ensure these deliveries is important at this time and we’re confident the option of overnight deliveries will be used responsibly.”
The mayor Cr Sam Hearn said: “While this shortage has come about from an unforeseen public reaction to the coronavirus we urge restraint in the over purchasing of such items and encourage our community to heed the advice of the [state’s] chief health officer.”
The shire will review its position at the end of March when it is hoped consumer behaviour will have steadied and normal supplies resumed.
For information on the coronavirus visit: dhhs.vic.gov.au/coronavirus