Supermarkets across suburban Adelaide will continue to be allowed to trade extended hours – including the option of 24-hour weekday trade and 9am Sunday morning starts – to help support vital social distancing measures and cater for vulnerable customers, including the elderly and people with a disability.
This decision is supported by health advice from public health experts within SA Health, who say that the additional hours help facilitate social distancing which is one of the best ways to limit the spread of coronavirus.
The Marshall Liberal Government has announced it will grant a further 30-day exemption to all supermarkets and non-exempt shops, following the ‘significant success’ of the current exemption which expires after Sunday (April 19).
The changes – which are also supported by local industry, including Woolworths, Coles and Aldi – also allow supermarkets to open from 12am to 9pm Saturdays and from 9am to 9pm Sundays.
Coles, for example, has recently extended its opening hours to 10pm Monday to Friday, and until 9pm on weekends, in addition to opening 2 hours earlier on a Sunday morning and introducing a dedicated community hour each weekday from 7am to 8am.
Woolworths has also has introduced a dedicated community hour from 7am weekdays, is currently trading later on weekends and opening earlier on Sundays.
The exemption will apply from Monday (April 20) to Tuesday, May 19 (inclusive).
Treasurer Rob Lucas said extended trading hours had been embraced by both SA consumers and retailers, giving them much-needed freedom of choice and flexibility as they manage the ongoing and challenging impacts of COVID-19.
“In these unprecedented times, we want to make it as easy and safe as possible for South Australians to get the groceries they need, while giving supermarkets the flexibility they need to cater for increased consumer demand while supporting staff,” said Treasurer Lucas.
“We’ve already seen supermarkets embrace the extended hours, opening later at night, earlier on weekends and creating dedicated community hours for special groups, including the elderly and people with a disability as well as emergency services and healthcare workers.”
Restrictions will still apply for non-exempt shops (ie supermarkets over 400sqm and other shops over 200sqm) on Anzac Day, with shops permitted to open on April 25 from 12 noon to 9pm.
All employees working during the extended hours would do so strictly on a voluntary basis and no-one can be forced to work the additional hours.
Under section 5 of the Shop Trading Hours Act 1977, an exemption can’t be approved for a period of longer than 30 days.