Residents in the impacted areas of Brisbane, in the southeast of Queensland, have rushed to buy staples ahead of the three-day snap lockdown imposed in the lead up to the Easter long weekend, ignoring the advice of Queensland Premier Annastasia Palaszczuk.
“Please don’t rush out and panic buy,” Palaszczuk said on Twitter on Monday. “The supermarkets are full of supplies and will operate as per usual. Groceries and essentials will still be available while we’re in lockdown.”
However, residents ignored the appeal, with queues stretching around the corners at various major food retailers by 10 a.m. on Monday, with images of long lines in busy shops going viral on social media.
According to The Courier Mail, a woman who was nine-months pregnant was also run into with a trolley by a shopper who was desperate to get flour.
In Brisbane’s north side, a Woolworths supermarket employee told Nine News that their stock of toilet paper “had disappeared in 30 minutes” following the announcement of the lockdown.
Woolworths have since introduced product limits for stores in Greater Brisbane from this afternoon (see a full list below). Some of the panic buying hotspots include Hamilton, New Farm, North Lakes, and Chermside.
“We have continued access to stock from our suppliers, and our team will be hard at work making sure it flows from our distribution centres into our stores over the coming days,” Chris Peters, the Woolworths general manager for Queensland, said.
“We encourage Queenslanders to continue shopping as they usually would and to be mindful of others in the community,” he said.
Queensland Health Minister Yvette D’Ath also urged the public not to panic buy.
“This is not required. Please stop!” She wrote in a post on Twitter. “Supermarkets and grocery shops will be open in the Greater Brisbane area, and people can go to the shops during the lockdown to get grocery items.”
Full list of limited products (two per person per shop):
- Antibacterial wipes
- Canned fish
- Canned tomatoes
- Canned legumes
- Canned vegetables
- Frozen chips (including potato gems and wedges)
- Frozen desserts
- Frozen fruit
- Frozen vegetables
- Longlife milk (regular, skim and lite)
- Longlife speciality milk
- Liquid handwash
- Paper towels
- Toilet paper
- Bread loaves (including in-store)
- Chilled pasta
- Fresh milk (excluding flavoured)
- Meat (burgers, rissoles, meatballs, mince–fixed weight only, sausages, two packs beef, two packs chicken, two packs lamb, two packs pork.