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People have been spotted buying pot plants and garden supplies from Bunnings despite Queensland's top doctor urging people to consider if purchases are really essential.
Queensland is facing the largest outbreak of Covid-19 since the pandemic's first wave, with 63 cases in total, while the southeast of the state is halfway through an eight-day lockdown.
Greater Brisbane, Ipswich, Logan City, Moreton Bay, Redlands, Sunshine Coast, Gold Coast, Noosa, Somerset, Lockyer Valley and Scenic Rim in state's south remain in lockdown.
Despite the lockdown, images shared by Nine News show people out buying gardening supplies from Bunnings amid the lockdown.
One shopper told Nine they were just trying to do some "retail therapy" and get some jobs done.
"It is a good time to do things around your home," a man at the store said.
The number of cases prompted Chief Health Officer Dr Jeannette Young to urge people to consider their movements and ask if it is "essential" in the coming days as the highly-infectious Delta variant poses a greater risk to society.
"Because last year I didn't have any problems with Bunnings being open, and people going and buying pot plants and doing some gardening but that was with previous variants," she said.
"We just need to ramp it up. This is Delta. It's so much more contagious that really we have just got to, as I say, ramp it up and really for the next five days think, 'Do I really need to leave the house?”
Dr Young's focus on home gardeners divided opinion online, with some sympathetic to people in lockdown, saying plants and gardening is good for mental health.
Others however said such shopping was a clear breach of the lockdown, yet some argued there needs to be more clarity to the rules.
Bunnings is an 'essential service'
Bunnings has remained open both in NSW and Queensland because it is deemed an essential service. However stores were closed at the height of Victoria's outbreak last year.
On the Bunnings Warehouse, it says stores remain open in areas in lockdown to ensure customers and tradespeople have access to products they need to make emergency repairs and maintenance, or for essential infrastructure and services.
On Wednesday, NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian deflected questioning on why Bunnings was open.
Speaking to Yahoo News Australia on Wednesday, QUT’s Professor Gary Mortimer explained how Bunnings is an essential service.
"I had a plumbing leak on my property, the plumbers arrived and the first thing they did was head to Bunnings to get equipment to fix the problem," he said.
“While we tend to discount hardware retailers, they actually do play a very important role. Access to emergency supplies to hardware, plumping, and electricals. If a tree was to fall over, the homeowner may need tools or a tarp.”
Several Bunnings stores have popped up on exposure site lists in several states, though Prof Mortimer believes people are out shopping for "non-essential" items and advised against window shopping and browsing.
Nine News also reported several filming productions are still shooting amid the lockdown, with locals angered the filming is going ahead, though the government insisted it is not a restricted activity.
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