After more than three months of being in a hard lockdown, many Melbourne residents embraced the easing of COVID-19 restrictions on Tuesday night with their shopping bags at the ready for some solid retail therapy.
Once the rules relaxed at 11:59pm, people were already lined up outside their local Kmart store to feel some sense of normality through bargain buys that they’ve missed since Victoria went into a second-wave lockdown in early July.
Overnight videos and images have emerged online of the shopping frenzy, sparking plenty of reactions on Twitter. While some celebrated the new freedom, others questioned if social distancing was really possible, and then there were others who poked fun at people’s eagerness to shop at midnight.
just saw this on tiktok... Bruh i know how amazing Kmart is but maaaaaan we’re gonna get wave 3 if y’all keep this up 😭😭 pic.twitter.com/W79FLmOk3v
— :-( (@tomnookid) October 27, 2020
Wow that’s crazy.
People never needed to book to go to Kmart before. Now it feels like we’re members of this exclusive posh club. Hehe 😎 pic.twitter.com/jpaNGdiQlf
— Daniel Richardson AKA DaniMacYo (@DaniMacYo) October 27, 2020
Omg Kmart is a nightmare, just so many people with no social distancing what so ever
— 🐋 ᴮᴱHOLLY ⁷🐋 (@purpletaedream) October 28, 2020
How was KMart last night, Melbourne?
You guys have been through the ringer. Have fun but be safe. Also, be nice to the retail staff. pic.twitter.com/jGGKsNKJjq
— DF (@Dean_Machine_) October 27, 2020
my local kmart was packed as soon as it hit midnight...yall missed it that much 💀💀💀 i mean damn i did too but its not going anywhere any time soon jjdfhdkjk
— ᴮᴱnosi⁷ (@namgiprintz) October 27, 2020
Good morning Melbourne! Here’s the first rush of Kmart shoppers! pic.twitter.com/Ies115jrxw
— Faeries and Ducklings 🍄🦆 (@HeidiSelkie) October 27, 2020
Me watching Melburnians rush out to cafes and Kmart... pic.twitter.com/ma2LzErQyv
— MissyJack (@missyjack) October 27, 2020
Kmart has also introduced an online booking system across 38 stores in Victoria to address crowd control. Only 20 people can be in a store at once, and 50 outside the shop.
This in itself has led to more reactions online, because who knew there’d be a time when you need to reserve a spot for some bargain hunting? But, of course, it’s all in the name of safety.
WE’RE GOING TO KMART pic.twitter.com/klkEXDvV9J
— anna spooky-ryan (@annaspargoryan) October 27, 2020
I’m selling this booking I made at Kmart on eBay. Bidding starts at $1000. It’s a prime slot of 11am on Saturday at Chadstone. Get it quick to secure your chance to buy some cheap junk made in Bangladesh sweatshops!
(Disclaimer: I take no responsibility if you catch COVID there) pic.twitter.com/luRYOscPOg
— UnHealthy Harold (@UnHealthyHar0ld) October 27, 2020
My wife just told me you need an appointment to go to Kmart. No offence but I think I can live without it.
— Former Senate candidate 2016, political commentary (@bugwannostra) October 27, 2020
Victoria reported two new COVID-19 cases on Wednesday after posting no infections in the previous two days as Melbourne emerged from lockdown.
Restaurants and cafes in Melbourne can reopen from Wednesday, and limits on social gatherings at homes have been eased, allowing two adults and dependents from one house to visit another household.
Melbourne was put into lockdown in early July after a second-wave outbreak that pushed daily case numbers to more than 700 in early August.
Australia has recorded just over 27,500 novel coronavirus infections, far fewer than many other developed countries.
Victoria has accounted for more than 90% of the country’s 907 deaths.
With additional reporting by Reuters.
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This article originally appeared on HuffPost Australia and has been updated.