UberEats and Deliveroo will start bringing groceries and even medication to customers’ doors in Victoria, amid fears critical supply chains are being cut off.
On Tuesday, the state recorded another 19 deaths, its highest total for the second consecutive day, while people remain confined to their local area and told to avoid busy supermarkets.
Deliveroo has partnered with convenience store giants BP and EzyMart to deliver groceries and basic medical supplies such as panadol to customers.
Those isolating after being diagnosed with COVID-19 or awaiting test results are not allowed out of their homes, even to buy the most necessary items.
Food delivery services UberEats and Deliveroo are now bringing medication and groceries to customers’ doors in Victoria (pictured, a delivery worker on July 6)
Deliveroo’s Australian chief executive officer Ed McManus said the government has always understood the critical role of delivery services during the pandemic.
He said while there have been new additions – such as BP Couchfoods and EzyMart – to bring items such as groceries and medication – delivering food is the core of the business.
‘EzyMart recently joined Deliveroo and is in the process of bringing a large number of stores onto the platform in response to consumer demand for pantry essentials, personal care items, fridge essentials and convenience snacks,’ Mr McManus said.
Meanwhile UberEats has partnered with Caltex to deliver items such as Advil, Zyrtec and Codral in under 30 minutes.
Lucas Groeneveld, Uber’s Head of Markets for Australia and New Zealand, said the delivery service was committed to bringing Australians what they need and that they could operate after the 8pm curfew.
People living in Melbourne and the Mitchell Shire are only allowed to leave their home for four reasons – including exercise – and have a curfew of 8pm (pictured, walkers on Monday)
‘Whether it’s parents needing Panadol late at night, providing a service for those less mobile, or making it easier for people to self-isolate without forgoing access to important health items, this new offering will make life easier for hundreds of thousands of Australians,’ he said.
On Sunday officials announced that Australia Post posties and warehouse workers would be included in the exempted workers category, after fears their delivery services would be severely hampered.
Initially a third of the workforce was expected to be stood down but that has now been reduced to just ten per cent of staff.
‘We have worked with the Victorian Government to ensure our post offices remain open and that our deliveries – our posties and drivers across Victoria – remain on the road,’ an Australia Post spokesperson told Daily Mail Australia.
Australia Post (pictured handing out parcels on April 14) were granted a small reprieve on Sunday after it was announced their workforce would only be cut by 10 per cent
‘For our delivery and parcel facilities in metropolitan Melbourne only, we will have a ten per cent daily workforce reduction, coupled with split shifts in a COVID-safe environment, ensuring cleaning between shifts and a COVID Safe Plan.’
Under the lockdown, business are divided into three categories – essential ones that operate as normal, ones that must slash shifts and output, and those that must close – sparking panic-buying and concerns of a national food shortage.
Long lines and full trolleys were seen outside supermarkets as early as 7am on August 4 following the announcement – even though they would stay open under Stage 4.
Woolworths (pictured) restrictions are even stricter – reinstating a purchase limit of two items per customer on toilet paper, paper towels, baby wipes, tissues, anti bacterial wipes, liquid hand wash, disinfectants and bleach, among others
The move has forced supermarkets such as Woolworths to put two-item restrictions on more than 50 products as shoppers as shoppers started to clean out shelves across Victoria yet again.
Victorian distribution centres have been forced to reduce their workforce to two-thirds of normal production during the six-week lockdown.
Meanwhile abattoirs have had their staff cut by a third to increase social distancing.
The Supermarkets Taskforce, an alliance of major supermarkets focused on preventing supply shortages during the coronavirus crisis, has also argued the unprecedented restrictions will disrupt the grocery supply chain across Australia.
The body expressed concern that people would make multiple trips in order to complete their grocery shop.
Long queues of people wearing masks have been seen outside supermarkets across the state
Shelves were picked clean as Melburnians feared the lockdown would make it difficult for them to buy food (pictured on August 3)
Business Council of Australia chief Jennifer Westacott said last week there were ‘serious problems’ with current restrictions in Victoria.
‘We have to urgently fix supply chain issues at distribution centres,’ she told the Sydney Morning Herald.
‘These restrictions must be lifted today because they do not recognise that supply chains operate nationwide.’
‘We have to urgently fix supply chain issues at distribution centres. These restrictions must be lifted today because they do not recognise that supply chains operate nationwide.’
NSW Health Minister Brad Hazzard told ABC News Breakfast on Wednesday the state and federal governments would ‘find ways around’ any potential shortages.