Suburban Adelaide shops and supermarkets will be required to revert to their pre-COVID-19 hours of operation from Sunday 19 July, with the state government announcing it will not be granting a further 30-day exemption to support physical distancing.

The government has always acted on the expert advice of SA Health public health officials, who for the past four months have supported extended shop trading as an effective way of promoting physical distancing within stores, which has proven necessary to help stop the spread of COVID-19.

“For several months, the public health advice was clear,  and that was extended trading supported important physical distancing.

“However, given the recent significant lifting of other restrictions in South Australia, public health advice no longer considers this extra measure necessary.

“This means that from this coming Sunday [19 July], all non-exempt shops and supermarkets will be required to revert to their normal hours of operation, for example, they won’t be allowed to open until 11:00 am on a Sunday morning.”

Under the 30-day exemptions, the first of which came into effect on 21 March, supermarkets and shops, regardless of their size, were permitted to open two hours earlier from 9:00 am on Sunday and four hours later (until 9:00 pm) on a Saturday and Sunday if they chose to do so.

Extended shop trading was strictly voluntary, and no one could be forced to work the additional hours.

“We understand that many South Australians will be clearly disappointed they won’t have this added freedom and flexibility they’ve come to enjoy in relation to when they do their supermarket shopping,” said Mr Lucas.

“Contrary to the alarmist claims of the shoppies union and Mr Malinauskas, most SA families have experienced the benefits of greater freedom of choice and noted the predicted chaos never occurred.

“In fact, a number of independent supermarkets took advantage of trading extended hours as well as larger retailers.

“The Marshall government will continue to campaign on the overwhelming benefits of sensible shop trading hours reform – which we know is supported by the majority of South Australians and will help drive positive economic and jobs growth,” said Mr Lucas.