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Sales: Coronavirus

Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy written question – answered on 24th March 2020.

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Photo of Fleur Anderson Fleur Anderson Labour, Putney

To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what steps he is taking to prevent panic buying.

Photo of Nadhim Zahawi Nadhim Zahawi Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)

Holding answer received on 23 March 2020

The UK is well prepared for this type of outbreak; we are taking all necessary precautions to protect the public, such as engaging with industry and businesses to discuss their preparedness planning. We will continue to work closely with sectors, companies, and business representative organisations to ensure we are fully aware of the issues and how to best provide support.

In order to help the industry respond to Covid-19, we will work with local authorities to extend delivery hours for supermarkets and other food retailers. This will allow retailers to increase the frequency of their deliveries and move stock quickly from warehouses to shelves.

The Government has also announced a temporary relaxation of the enforcement of EU drivers’ hours rules in England, Scotland, and Wales. This extends to drivers of vehicles involved in the delivery of food, non-food (personal care and household paper and cleaning), and over-the-counter pharmaceuticals. Additionally, we have announced a temporary relaxation of drivers’ hours, allowing delivery drivers to work the hours needed to meet the demand for home deliveries.

The Government has also announced the temporary relaxation of elements of competition law to allow supermarkets and retailers to work together. Legislation is being laid to amend elements of the Competition Act 1998, which prevents certain types of anti-competitive behaviour.

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