Australia’s grocery store chains on Friday reintroduced buy limits on toilet paper and different home goods as a spike in Corona Virus cases within the state of Victoria set off a recent spherical of panic-buying over fears of a brand new stay-at-home order.
Woolworths Group Ltd and Coles Group Ltd, which collectively account for two-thirds of Australian grocery gross sales, stated they had been as soon as once more limiting purchases of toilet paper and paper towels to at least one or two packs per particular person after pictures circulated on social media displaying empty cabinets in shops.
The purchasing restrictions – and pictures of stripped cabinets – are a reminder of Australia’s preliminary response to the arrival of COVID-19 when consumers stockpiled family items in anticipation of a protracted shutdown.
With solely 7,500 cases in complete and 104 deaths, Australia has been easing restrictions on motion, however a string of double-digit will increase in cases within the second-most populous state, Victoria, led to a pause within the reopening there – and prompted consumers to hoard.
Now the sample has unfold nationwide.
“We’ve regrettably began to see elevated demand for toilet roll transfer outdoors Victoria prior to now 24 hours,” stated Woolworths managing director of supermarkets, Claire Peters, in an announcement.
“While the demand is just not on the similar stage as Victoria, we’re taking preventative motion now to get forward of any extreme purchasing this weekend,” she added.
The firm had ordered an additional 650,000 extra packs of toilet paper, 30% over its standard quantity.
A Coles spokesman stated the chain was proscribing toilet paper and paper towel purchases to at least one pack per particular person nationwide, with Victoria-only limits on buy of hand sanitizer, pasta, eggs, rice and different staples.
Despite the Victoria spike, the prime minister and chief medical officer have stated the virus stays beneath management in Australia and the nation will proceed with a plan to reopen the economic system.