Victorian COVID lockdown prompts Coles and Woolworths to roll out toilet paper purchase limits

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Australia’s two biggest supermarket chains have reinstated toilet paper limits across Victorian stores as the state prepares to enter a five-day COVID-19 lockdown.

In a pre-emptive strike to ward off panic buying before the lockdown begins at 11.59pm on Thursday, Coles and Woolworths immediately capped loo roll purchases at two packs per shopper.

Supermarkets, bottle shops and pharmacies will remain open as essential retailers for the state’s fifth lockdown, in line with other shutdowns.

Despite this, Victorian shelves have previously been stripped bare due to widespread panic buying.

A Coles spokesperson said the temporary purchase limit would help return stores to full stocks as soon as possible.

Woolworths has reinstated a two toilet paper pack limit ahead of Victoria’s fifth COVID lockdown. Credit: AAP

“It never gets easier but we have learned from previous lockdowns,” the supermarket tweeted.

“There’s plenty of stock in our supply chain but this will help us manage demand.”

Woolworths general manager for Victoria Andrew Hall also reassured customers its supermarkets had plenty of stock to go around.

“As always, we encourage our customers to be mindful of others in the community and buy only what they need,” he said in a statement on Thursday.

Staff will also be at the front of Woolworths stores to carry out additional cleaning and wipe down trolleys after multiple supermarkets across Melbourne were listed as exposure sites.

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‘We’ve proven there is no need to do that.’

While shopping for food and essential items is one of five reasons to leave the home, shopping is limited to one person per day, per household.

While announcing the restriction Premier Daniel Andrews urged Victorians not to panic buy.

“No need to do any of that. We’ve proven there is no need to do that,” he told reporters.

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