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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.
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.
There was a checkout queue around the entire Coles New Town store before the Hobart lockdown was even announced. News travels quick in Tassie. #tasmania #politas #abcmyphoto pic.twitter.com/QSr0EoFbn8
— Lucy Hawthorne (@stealthpooch) October 15, 2021
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.
Hobart were going onto lock down at 6.00pm tonight all because of one stupid idiot, not being honest. 4.09 coles shopping center are people eating toilet paper ????? I understand why bread has gone. I Always was taught to think of others and I have only got what I need🤷♀️ pic.twitter.com/7Kjbpu1aQT
— 💞mellow😺💕&💕👱♀️me💞 (@Rebecca21592112) October 15, 2021
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
“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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