Coles announces product limits as shelves stripped bare ahead of lockdown

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Coles has introduced strict purchase limits on toilet paper and masks amid chaotic scenes of panic buying at Tasmanian supermarkets ahead of a snap lockdown.

Parts of the state are under strict stay-at-home orders for three days after a Covid-19 positive traveller escaped hotel quarantine earlier this week.

Coles has introduced product limits following the announcement of a three-day lockdown in southern Tasmania. Source: Twitter
Coles has introduced product limits following the announcement of a three-day lockdown in southern Tasmania. Source: Twitter

The lockdown includes the Local Government Areas of Brighton, Central Highlands, Clarence City, Derwent Valley, Glamorgan-Spring Bay, Hobart City, Huon Valley, Sorell, Southern Midlands, Tasman and Kingborough.

Just hours before the lockdown was officially announced, shelves began being stripped bare as residents prepared.

Social media was flooded with images of huge crowds, metres-long queues of people packed next to one another and very few masks.

“Not a mask in sight,” commented one person.

“No mask culture in cities yet to experience an outbreak,” someone responded.

There was a backlog of cars a few hundred metres up the road from a West Hobart grocer.

“Supermarkets are a major threat of spread. So stock up where you can,” one man wrote.

Another said: “Freakin’ nightmare with lunatics snatching at toilet paper like there’s no tomorrow.”

Coles announces masks, purchase limits

Coles has announced customers will now be required to wear masks unless they have an exemption.

This applies to the stores at Bridgewater, Eastlands, New Town, Sandy Bay, Kingston and Sorell.

The following purchase limits have also been put in place:

  • Toilet paper - two packs per customer

  • Face masks - two packs per customer

Office workers walk past a Coles supermarket in Sydney, Wednesday, April 28, 2021. Source: AAP
Customers will be limited to two packs of toilet paper and masks. Source: AAP

“We will continue to monitor product availability and ask that customers only buy what they need to help ensure everyone in the community has access to food and everyday essentials,” Coles State General Manager for Victoria and Tasmania Claire Lauber said.

“We have well-established safety protocols based on what we have implemented in previous lockdowns, to ensure our customers and team members can feel safe in our stores.

“We thank our amazing teams who are working tremendously hard, and we appreciate our customers for their patience and for treating our team members with respect as we work through this challenging time together.”

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