Coronavirus: Government relaxes competition laws for supermarkets

Big Four Supermarkets

The government has temporarily relaxed elements of competition law to allow UK supermarkets to work more closely together to feed the nation in the face of the coronavirus crisis.

The Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) made the announcement overnight and said grocers would now be able to share stock level data, cooperate on keeping stores open and share distribution depots and delivery vans.

Retailers will be allowed to pool staff with each another to meet demand and the rules around drivers’ hours have been relaxed so more food can be delivered to stores.

The current 5p plastic bag charge will also be lifted for online purchases to speed up delivery but will remain in place for in-store purchases.

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