Woolworths reintroduces strict product limits amid Omicron crisis

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Woolworths has reintroduced limits on certain products as stores face empty shelves due to increased demand and supply chain constraints.

Customers will now be limited to two packets of toilet paper and painkillers per customer nationwide both in store and online.

In Western Australia, the limit extends to mince, sausage and chicken products due to signs of excessive buying.

An image of an empty Woolworths shelf with some sparse lettuce bags in Mortdale, Sydney.
A Woolworths store in the Sydney suburb of Mortdale with bare shelves due to staff members in isolation. Source: Facebook

The move follows a similar one made by Coles who announced their own restrictions on certain products on Wednesday.

The news comes as customers report bare shelves and a lack of products all around the country.

Woolworths Director of Stores Jeanette Fenske said she understood this was an anxious time for customers across the country, but they would endeavour to make sure stores remained open and operational as an essential service.

“We will continue to closely monitor product availability across our stores, with stock continuing to be sent to stores daily. Customers will notice some gaps on shelves but we’re doing all that we can to meet demand," she said in a statement.

An out-of-stock tag next to Quilton toilet paper at Woolworths.
The limits are being introduced to ensure more customers have access to toilet paper and painkillers. Source: AAP

“We encourage everyone to be mindful of others in the community and to continue shopping in reasonable quantities.”

Woolworths has had purchase limits on rapid antigen kits since it first began selling the products last year.

In line with guidelines from the federal government, customers are currently limited to one pack per purchase.

Coles introduces limits on products

Supermarkets across the country are continuing to see supply chain challenges impact stock levels across the country due to Covid-19 and a high percentage of workers in isolation.

Earlier in the week the deputy chief medical officer, Michael Kidd, advised Australians to stock up on painkillers in order to manage virus symptoms at home.

A completely empty shelf in Woolworths.
Stores nationwide are facing staff and supply shortages. Source: AAP

The advice left people scrambling to find supplies as case numbers surge nationwide.

On Wednesday, Coles supermarkets made the decision to place temporary limits on select medicinal items and toilet paper to online and in-store purchases.

Shoppers are limited to two packs of paracetamol, ibuprofen and aspirin, and one unit of toilet paper.

Last week, Coles also restricted the purchase of rapid antigen tests and meat.

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