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19 March 2020

Government relaxes elements of competition law temporarily to allow supermarkets to work together

Introduced by

Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, Department for Transport, Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy

Targeted at



Announced on 19 March 2020. Change to drivers' hours rules from 20 March 2020, single-use carrier bag charge waived for online deliveries from 21 March 2020

Stated aims

To 'enable retailers to work together for the sole purpose of feeding the nation during these unprecedented circumstances'


This relaxation of competition laws allows retailers to share data on stock levels, cooperate to keep shops open or share distribution depots and delivery vans, and pool staff to help meet demand. The government has also temporarily relaxed rules around drivers' hours and is waiving the 5p plastic bag charge for online purchases.


Gov.uk press release