Toronto okays 24-hour retail deliveries during coronavirus outbreak
With 76 positive cases of COVID-19 now confirmed in Toronto, city officials are ramping up their response protocols in an effort to slow down the global pandemic outbreak at the local level.
In addition to activating an official emergency operations centre last week and, more recently, an economic support task force, city officials are revising their noise bylaw to mitigate the spread of the 2019 novel coronavirus in Toronto.
That's right, a noise bylaw — one that has long prohibited the loading, unloading, delivering, packing and unpacking of consumer products and materials between the hours of 11 p.m. and 7 a.m.
Municipal officials announced on Monday that, effective immediately, all retail businesses in Toronto "are exempt from the City of Toronto Noise Bylaw to facilitate after-hour deliveries."
#CityOfTO takes action to enable 24-hour retail deliveries. This will ensure retailers can receive deliveries 24 hours of a day, seven days a week to ensure essential goods remain in stock. News release: https://t.co/FIsDrYOhYn— City of Toronto (@cityoftoronto) March 16, 2020
This rare exemption will allow retailers to better keep their shelves stocked with essential goods amidst a recent wave of "panic shopping," in which consumers flock to supermarkets with the (errant) belief that they need to hoard such supplies as food and toilet paper.
"City staff – in consultation with Mayor John Tory's office – moved quickly to make this immediate change after it was raised by the Retail Council of Canada as a way to allow additional deliveries for retailers," reads a press release issued by the city.
"There is no need for residents to panic-buy and stockpile," it continues, echoing comments made by both Tory and Ontario government officials over the weekend.
"While being prepared for emergencies is always advised, any bulk purchasing beyond a two-week supply jeopardizes the ability of vulnerable people to access essential food and health supplies."
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