‘Massive’ queues at supermarkets as lockdown looms
Shoppers have flocked to supermarkets across Victoria with reports of "massive" queues and "panic buying" just over 24 hours before much of the state enters a six-week lockdown.
Premier Daniel Andrews on Tuesday announced stage three "stay at home" restrictions would be reinstated across metropolitan Melbourne and Mitchell Shire, north of the city, from 11.59pm on Wednesday, July 8.
He announced 191 new cases of COVID-19 including 154 under investigation.
None of the cases were detected in returned travellers in hotel quarantine.
There are 69 cases linked to the public housing towers under strict lockdown in North Melbourne and Flemington while the Al-Taqa College outbreak in Truganina has grown to 90.
"It's clear we are on the cusp of our second wave - and we cannot let this virus cut through our communities," Mr Andrews said.
Shopping for food and essential items is one of the four reasons people can leave their homes but that didn't stop residents rushing to supermarkets on Tuesday, including in Melbourne's southeast and bayside.
Melburnians are rushing to supermarkets in the wake of the news of the lockdown. This is the long queue waiting to enter a @woolworths in the South-East #melbournelockdown I haven’t seen it like this all year. Shops will still be open! pic.twitter.com/kTTKSUAXN8— Lucie Morris-Marr (@luciemorrismarr) July 7, 2020
Supermarket queues - Melbourne. pic.twitter.com/Ij4l1pqsdJ— Malcolm Farnsworth (@mfarnsworth) July 7, 2020
If anyone in Melbourne is wondering, yes the supermarket is already a terrifying place to be— Rosa Martorana (@RosaMartorana) July 7, 2020
Lock down is back and so is the panic buying and the long lines to enter the super market in bayside Melbourne pic.twitter.com/NKFu2IrLmt— Chris AU (@OfficialChrisAU) July 7, 2020
Came to pick up a few things from Woolies - massive q to get in! pic.twitter.com/zf2V7lZock— Leo Stubbing (@LeoStubbing) July 7, 2020
Shoutout to all supermarket workers in metro Melbourne in the next 24-30 hours. And to everyone else in a supermarket aisle, be kind.— Amy Feldtmann (@AmyFeldtmann) July 7, 2020
All product limits "except those on toilet paper" were removed at Woolworths across the country on Tuesday, the supermarket chain said in a statement.
"We wish to thank customers for returning to their normal shopping routines over the past week," Woolworths managing director Claire Peters said.
"With demand moderating, there is more than enough stock flowing through from our distribution warehouses and into our stores to support all our customers' grocery needs.
"We will continue to monitor the situation closely and will not hesitate to reinstate product limits if needed."
Coles has also removed purchase limits but has been contacted by news.com.au for further comment.
The six-week lockdown lasts until August 19.
Originally published as 'Massive' queues as lockdown looms