Retail outlets have placed buying limits on face masks as Victoria prepares to enforce a new rule to stop the spread of coronavirus.
Just hours after Sunday’s announcement from premier Daniel Andrews, people were seen flocking to stores to buy masks.
On Monday, Mr Andrews urged stores not to price gouge.
“I would encourage everybody to do the right thing and acknowledge this is no time to be profiting from the pain of others,” he said.
On Monday, both Woolworths and Coles introduced buying limits on masks with customers limited to only one pack.
The rule is in place across Victoria for Coles shoppers. For Woolies customers it’s being enforced in Metro Melbourne and Mitchell Shire.
Aldi has told News Corp, shoppers can only buy two at a time.
Gavin Hodgins, CEO of Mount Waverley-based mask manufacturer FloatPac, told The Age, “things went coco bananas” as soon as Mr Andrews made the face mask announcement.
“It crashed our website,” he told The Age.
“It was obvious people were panic-buying.”
Australian Safety Wholesalers also told the paper, 100,000 masks were sold after they were made mandatory – the same total it sold over last week.
Education Minister James Merlino told reporters 1.2 million single-use masks will be distributed to government, Catholic and independent schools.
An order of 1.37 million reusable masks has been made and the Department of Education will be one of the first to receive a batch of them.
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