Coles, Woolworths and Costco supermarkets in Sydney have begun to run out of toilet paper after panic buyers cleared out shelves in Melbourne.
Shoppers complained on social media that toilet paper was in short supply at Coles supermarkets in Leichhardt, Merrylands and Roselands in Sydney on Thursday.
‘Three different friends found empty toilet paper aisles in Sydney yesterday. #TPgate is back,’ one woman wrote on Twitter.
Woolworths in Roselands and Coles Toronto in Lake Macquarie also experienced high demand for loo roll.
Sydney’s toilet paper frenzy comes after Coles and Woolworths reintroduced shopping limits on products in Victoria and on the NSW border due to a spike in panic buying on Wednesday.
Coles has now gone a step further, limiting toilet paper and paper towel purchases to just one pack at all their stores across the country.
Empty shelves at Woolworths in Green Hills. Coles, Woolworths and Costco supermarkets in Sydney are running out of toilet paper after panic buyers cleared out shelves in Melbourne
Costco, which has stores in Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Canberra, Perth and Adelaide, is limiting customers to one pack of toilet paper each.
A Woolworths spokesman confirmed there has been a ‘higher than usual’ demand for toilet paper in parts of Sydney and NSW.
‘We saw pockets of higher than usual demand for toilet roll across parts of New South Wales yesterday (Thursday), but not anywhere near the levels we saw in Victoria,’ the spokesman said.
‘We’ll keep a close eye on demand over the coming days. We continue to ask customers to buy only what they need, as there is plenty of stock to replenish our shelves.’
All Coles and Coles Express stores across the country now limit toilet paper and paper towel purchases to just one pack.
In addition, Victorian stores and those along the NSW border have two-item limits on hand sanitiser, flour, sugar, pasta, mince, UHT milk, eggs and rice.
Three Coles stores in Lavington, Albury and Deniliquin in NSW are affected since they rely on Victorian distribution centres.
‘We ask that customers continue to shop normally so that everyone can have access to the food and groceries they need,’ a Coles spokeswoman said.
Three Coles stores in Lavington, Albury and Deniliquin in NSW have brought back product limits since they rely on Victorian distribution centres.
Shoppers leave Costco after stocking up on essentials. Costco, which has stores in Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Canberra, Perth and Adelaide, is limiting customers to one pack of toilet paper each
It comes after Coles and Woolworths reintroduced shopping limits on products in Victoria due to a spike in panic buying.
Shoppers are once again to be restricted on how much toilet paper they can buy in supermarkets across the state.
A Woolworths spokesman said the company had reimposed a two item limit on a number of essential items across its Victorian stores on Wednesday afternoon.
The limits apply to toilet paper, hand sanitiser, paper towel, flour, sugar, pasta, mince, life-long milk, eggs and rice. The limits will also apply to online order.
The move comes as concerned residents stripped some stores of the essential items as they face the possibility of mandatory lockdown amid a second outbreak of COVID-19 cases in outer-suburban Melbourne
There was an additional 33 cases confirmed on Thursday and 20 on Wednesday. An 80-year-old man also died on Tuesday night from COVID-19 in Victoria.
Shelves at Coles in Taylor’s Hill in Melbourne are stripped of product on Tuesday as panic buying takes hold after new outbreak of COVID-19
Woolworths Supermarkets Managing Director Claire Peters said the company understands many Victorians are anxious about the recent community outbreak.
What are the limits in Victoria?
Two items per person on items at Woolworths:
Eggs and rice
Limits in items at Coles:
Toilet paper 1
Hand sanitiser 2
Paper towel 1
UHT milk 2
Flour 2 Eggs 2
Sugar 2 Rice 2
He said they can be assured their stores will remain open with plenty of stock.
‘While we have healthy stock levels to draw on, we’re taking this precautionary step to help prevent excessive buying and support appropriate social distancing in our Victorian stores.
‘We have more than enough product for all of our customers if we all just buy what we need in our weekly shop.
‘We’ll closely monitor demand across Victoria in the coming days and look to wind back the limits as soon as we can.’
A Coles spokesman said the company is implementing a number of temporary measures to improve the availability of key food and grocery items in our Victorian supermarkets and to help our customers shop safely.
Coles Group CEO Steven Cain asked that customers continue to shop normally so that everyone can have access to the food and groceries they need
The move is in response to ‘significantly elevated demand seen over the past 24 hours in certain parts of Melbourne’.
Victorian Health Minister Jenny Mikakos said they ‘won’t rule out’ reintroducing stay at home orders for coronavirus hotspots.
‘Our government has said that if the public health advice from our experts is to reintroduce stay at home legal directions, in particular locations we will consider doing that,’ Ms Mikakos told ABC Radio National Breakfast.
‘Clearly some people think the pandemic is over. It’s not over. We want people to remain at a heightened sense of awareness about physical distancing.’
On Tuesday, tensions were already on the rise in COVID-19 hot spots from Melbourne’s west to east.
One Brimbank resident told Daily Mail Australia he had heard about people stockpiling again on morning radio and had come down to the shops to grab some rolls before they vanished.
Reports spread quickly that a local shopping centre within the same municipality had already run out of the product.
Australians have been warned to stay away from six council in Melbourne: Hume, Casey and Brimbank, Moreland, Cardinia and Darebin
A toilet paper shelf at Woolworths in Hillside was almost empty after shoppers scrambled to get their hands on a packet
‘I’m not getting caught out again,’ the man said.
He could later be heard calling family members telling them to stock-up as soon as possible.
Others worried when hoarders might start stockpiling other products.
The six hotspots have been identified as the local government areas of Hume, Casey, Brimbank, Moreland, Cardinia and Darebin.
Chief Health Officer Brett Sutton said seven new COVID-19 cases are linked to known outbreaks, one was detected in hotel quarantine, nine were discovered through routine testing and three other cases are under investigation.
Mr Sutton said 241 cases in the state have been transmitted through the community.
‘That’s an increase of eight since yesterday. That number has been around 10 every day, but a decrease of eight is somewhat encouraging,’ he said.
‘It certainly means we’re not getting an increase or an exponential increase in community transmission cases day-by-day.
A shopper does his grocery shopping at Endeavour Hills shopping
A woman carries a packet of toilet paper through Brimbank shopping centre on Monday
‘But there are 141 active cases in Victoria, over 1,000 close contacts.’
Mr Sutton said the elderly man died on Tuesday evening but he was unable to give further details in respect of the family’s request for privacy.
VICTORIA’S SPIKE IN CORONAVIRUS CASES
Source: Department of Health and Human Services
The death is the first in Australia in a month, taking the national toll to 103.
Three caravan parks on the Great Ocean Road announced they would cancel bookings from travellers who reside in COVID-19 hotspots before retracting the ban.
A statement shared to websites for the Lorne Foreshore, Torquay Foreshore and Anglesea Family caravan parks said the cancellations would apply to all bookings up until Monday July 13.
‘To protect the health and safety of our staff, visitors and coastal communities, we will not be taking upcoming bookings, and will be cancelling all current bookings, from guests that live in the identified hotspot council areas of Hume, Casey, Brimbank, Moreland, Cardinia and Darebin,’ the statement reads.
‘We will not be lifting these restrictions until the Victorian Government advises that community transmission in these areas is under control.
‘We regret that we have had to make this decision, but we must do everything we can to protect our staff, visitors and small coastal communities at this time.’
An updated statement on Wednesday said the restrictions for caravan park guests living in hotspot areas had been updated.
Pictured: A long queue of cars wait at a drive-through COVID-19 testing site in Melbourne on Tuesday
‘We made the decision based on what we thought was best for our staff, guests and local communities,’ it reads.
‘We have now updated our decision based on advice from the Chief Health Officer and will welcome all guests, including our TMPs back into our parks.
‘But please remember, if you feel unwell you should stay at home. If you have symptoms of coronavirus (COVID-19), however mild, you should get tested. It’s up to all of us to make this work.’
Health Minister Greg Hunt said the message remained the same and that Australians should continue to keep their distance.
‘It is vitally important. It can save your life, it can protect your life,’ he said.
Daily Mail Australia has contacted Coles for comment.