Bottle shops enforce tighter restrictions to stop panic buying

Bottle shops have enforced tighter restrictions on consumers after Aussies rushed to bottle shops to stock up following fears of a national lockdown amid the coronavirus crisis.

Supermarkets have already placed limits on certain items after Australians fled to grocery stores to stock up on toilet paper, health products and food since the pandemic began.

Coronavirus live blog: Latest news and updates about the crisis in Australia

Now bottle shops have followed suit.

Bottle shops remained open and were not affected by tighter restrictions announced by Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison earlier this week, which saw restaurants and pubs among the businesses that were forced to close.

But fears and confusion over whether bottle shops will be closed in the case of a national lockdown sparked panic buying in bottle shops for thirsty Aussies this week.

Since then BWS and Dan Murphy’s, both owned by Woolworths, have announced tighter restrictions on the number of items a consumer can purchase in one transaction.

The liquor giants said there would be limits enforced in NSW, Victoria, ACT, Queensland, Northern Territory, South Australia and Tasmania.

The limits per person per day include 18 bottles of wine, three casks of wine, six bottles of spirits, three cases of beer, three cases of cider and three cases of pre-mix.

“These limits are in place to ensure everyone has access to the drinks they love, and we appreciate your understanding during this time,” A Dan Murphy’s statement read.

Bottles of Carlton and Tooheys New.
BWS and Dan Murphy's have placed tighter restrictions on alcohol purchases. Source: AAP

BWS has similar restrictions – 12 bottles of wine, three casks of wine, four cases of beer, four bottles of spirits, four cases of cider and four cases of pre-mix per person per day.

WA has further restrictions from BWS due to regulations, meaning customers are able to buy a maximum of two from the following categories – 11.25 litres of beer, cider or pre-mix spirits; 2.25 litres of wine; one litre of spirits; and one litre of fortified wine.

In a press conference on March 22, Prime Minister Scott Morrison said the health advice continued to be that schools remained open, and provided a detailed list of the venues across the country that would close from midday on March 23.

Pubs, registered and licenced clubs and night clubs were all be forced to close across Australia this week. Hotels will also need to close, excluding the accommodation.

However, there was an exemption for bottle shops, including those attached to pubs, which will be able to remain open.

Coles announce drastic health rules for customers

Coles will be spending $1 million every week in a drastic effort to minimise the risk of having coronavirus spread through its Australian stores.

The supermarket giant has urged sick customers to stay away, and those who enter to wash or sanitise their hands before doing so, and adhere to social distancing rules while shopping.

Nine News reports employees will have an unlimited supply of hand sanitiser, with 12,000 litres of the product to be made available to staff across all stores every single week.

There will be additional cleaning and sanitisation performed in high contact areas throughout stores, including trolleys, baskets, checkout areas and self-service screens.

Coles’ four main requirements for shoppers

  • Maintain social distancing by using a trolley

  • Load groceries at the end of the belt at the checkout when the customer ahead is gone

  • Pack your own groceries at the end of the register

  • Pay in a contactless way and avoid handing over cash