'Unbelievable': Coles and Woolworths shelves stripped ahead of Christmas

·News Editor
·3-min read

Shoppers have stripped Coles and Woolworths shelves of essentials amid fears of a growing coronavirus cluster in Sydney.

Health authorities are racing to contain the mystery cluster on the Northern Beaches which on Thursday evening jumped to 17 people.

More than 200,000 residents in the Northern Beaches have been told to stay home for the next three days as authorities desperately try to halt the spread of the virus.

FULL LIST: All of the venues which NSW Health has issued warnings about

The quasi-lockdown has prompted many to rush to the supermarket to buy items, with shelves stripped of toilet paper in near-identical scenes to those seen earlier this year.

Empty shelves with just two packs of toilet paper left are seen at a Coles supermarket on the Northern Beaches.
Toilet paper has been stripped from supermarket shelves in the Northern Beaches. Source: Twitter/@lorraine_fevre

A shopper posted a photo of a depleted toilet paper shelf to Twitter, claiming it was taken within an hour of new restrictions being announced.

“The queue to get out extended back to the freezers at the back of the store,” she added.

Somebody commented on the tweet that the purchasing of essentials was “necessary preparation”.

This content is not available due to your privacy preferences.
Update your settings here to see it.

Coronavirus ‘panic buying’ sparks outrage online

One person on Twitter simply wrote on Friday morning that “toilet paper [is] running out in northern beaches supermarkets”.

“Here we go again for another bout of irrationality,” another said.

Woolworths is also experiencing toilet paper shortages at some stores, with a customer writing on Twitter shelves at Woolworths Balgowlah were nearly empty.

In another photo posted to Facebook, a shopper urged people to avoid Glenrose Woolworths as a queue of people extended to the back of the store.

“You are kidding,” one commented.

“Let the stockpiling begin,” another said.

“Unbelievable,” a third added.

People flocking to supermarkets to comes just a week before Christmas, coinciding with the busiest time of year for stores.

A Woolworths spokesperson said there had been a slight uptick in demand in some Northern Beaches stores, but now anywhere near the levels seen earlier this year.

“We’ll continue to keep a close eye on demand and our stock levels,” the spokesperson said.

“We ask customers to buy only what they need, as we have plenty of stock to replenish our shelves.”

Shoppers are seen queued to the back of the frozen section at Woolworths in Glenrose.
A queue of shoppers is seen extended to the back of the store at Woolworths in Glenrose. Source: Facebook

Sydney Covid cluster linked to international case

The coronavirus cluster in Sydney’s Northern Beaches has been sourced back to an international case, NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian has confirmed.

“Somehow that’s gotten out into the community. The original source is an overseas strain and the genomic testing will give us more details, I’m hoping later today,” she told the Nine Network on Friday morning.

“All of us in broader Sydney have to be on high alert... We may have been in contact with someone from the Northern Beaches.

“We’re also concerned that some people who may have had the virus on the Northern Beaches may not know it, may have been infectious while they visited other parts of Sydney.”

NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian speaks to the Nine Network.
NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian warns more cases could be linked to the coronavirus cluster. Source: Nine

Ms Berejiklian confirmed more cases linked to the cluster would be announced later on Friday.

Two Northern Beaches cases were announced on Wednesday evening, with three more described by health authorities at a press conference on Thursday morning.

News of 12 further infections came on Thursday afternoon.

Authorities believe interactions at Avalon RSL on December 11 and Avalon Bowlo on December 13 may have acted as super-spreader events.

One of the new cases is an aged care worker at the Pittwater Palms facility.

Health alerts have now been issued for almost 30 venues across Sydney, while multiple Northern Beaches community facilities have shut.

Yahoo News Australia has contacted Coles for comment.

with AAP

Do you have a story tip? Email: newsroomau@yahoonews.com.

You can also follow us on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter and download the Yahoo News app from the App Store or Google Play.

Our goal is to create a safe and engaging place for users to connect over interests and passions. In order to improve our community experience, we are temporarily suspending article commenting