Crowds queue in front of Woolworths as lockdown looms

Nadine Carroll
·3-min read

People have been filmed lining up at supermarkets as Victorians prepare for a return to stage three restrictions.

The video was filmed on Tuesday and shared on the social media platform TikTok.

“Welcome to Australia where no-one listens to the f******g rules because apparently nothing can kill us,” the user narrates as she films long queues of people waiting to get into a Melbourne Woolworths.

The majority of people filmed seemed to be social distancing, with some wearing face masks as the state continues to experience a spike in confirmed coronavirus cases.

Long queues of shoppers waiting to get into a Melbourne supermarket.
Long queues of shoppers were spotted waiting to get into Woolworths hours before Victoria returned to stage three restrictions. Source: TikTok/Pinkpooh8

Premier Daniel Andrews revealed a further 134 cases in the state on Wednesday morning – the third consecutive day new Victorian cases surpassed the 100-case mark.

From midnight on Wednesday, the metropolitan Melbourne and Mitchell Shire will return to level three restrictions for six weeks.

Supermarket shelves cleared out before lockdown

The video, which has since been viewed over 3000 times, attracted a variety of reactions, with some people curious as to why the crowds were there.

“Don’t they realise the supermarkets will remain open?” one person asked.

Others feared there would be a repeat of panic buyers clearing shelves of essentials.

“Not again!” one person said.

Other people compared the scenes at supermarkets to a war zone.

“Yesterday it felt like WW3 was about to break out,” one person said.

Empty supermarket shelves in a Victorian Woolworths
People feared there would be a repeat of panic buying as empty shelves were spotted recently in supermarkets in Victoria. Source: AP

A few people thought the scenes were justified considering the looming lockdown.

“You’re filming one day before lockdown, you know people need to buy essentials,” a user wrote.

Product limits reintroduced

Purchase limits were reintroduced in Coles and Woolworths after the spike in COVID-19 cases resulted in panic buying at supermarkets throughout the state and near the NSW/Victoria border.

Coles chief executive Steven Cain said it was disappointing to reinstate purchase limits but it was crucial to manage increased demand for staple items.

“Our thoughts are with the many Victorians who will now be required to isolate at home, and we will continue to work with the state government to provide whatever assistance they need,” Mr Cain said in a statement.

In April supermarkets introduced purchase limits after staples were cleared from shelves amid coronavirus panic.

It was a common sight to see long queues of people waiting for toilet paper deliveries and other essentials to be restocked.

Scenes of violence were seen in stores as people vented their frustration over grocery shortages.

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