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Coronavirus panic-buyers flaunt hoards of groceries as Melbourne goes into lockdown

Stockpilers have been flaunting their hoards of groceries as desperate shoppers strip supermarket shelves of anything they can get their hands on. 

Panic-buying was back in full swing this week ahead of the six-week lockdown in metropolitan Melbourne and the Mitchell Shire. 

The strict rules come into force as a second outbreak of COVID-19 ravages Victoria.

But a handful of crafty shoppers managed to avoid the madness by stocking up on supplies early.  

Stockpilers have been flaunting their hoards of groceries on social media. 'I am not the reason the stores have been emptied during this pandemic,' one woman wrote

Stockpilers have been flaunting their hoards of groceries on social media. ‘I am not the reason the stores have been emptied during this pandemic,’ one woman wrote

Images on social media show rooms filled with tinned goods, packets of chips and pots of noodles

Images on social media show rooms filled with tinned goods, packets of chips and pots of noodles

'I realise many think this is greediness. I have been a stockpiler long before COVID-19,' one woman wrote as she flaunted her supplies

‘I realise many think this is greediness. I have been a stockpiler long before COVID-19,’ one woman wrote as she flaunted her supplies

Images on social media show rooms filled with tinned goods, packets of chips and pots of noodles. 

‘Just finished a pantry/stockpile challenge and now we are back in restrictions. So that sucks,’ one woman captioned her photo. 

Another woman claimed she had been stockpiling for the past 18 months. 

She had shelves filled with months worth of food, water and life-long milk. 

‘It is not my issue you failed to prepare prior to this pandemic.. don’t attack me because I happened to start stocking up 18 months ago,’ she wrote. 

‘I am not only a stockpiler but I also am a prepper…no I don’t have a tin foil hat but I believe in having emergency supplies in case sh*t hits the fan.

‘Case and point being this pandemic but I also prep in case of job loss, economic crisis or good forbid a war.’

Another simply said she liked to be organised.

Australians have been stockpiling ahead of the lockdown in Melbourne despite supermarkets remaining open

Australians have been stockpiling ahead of the lockdown in Melbourne despite supermarkets remaining open

Stockpiling has become more popular in Australia since the first lockedown in March

Stockpiling has become more popular in Australia since the first lockedown in March

Coles has reintroduced product buying limits in certain stores within locked  down communities

Coles has reintroduced product buying limits in certain stores within locked  down communities

‘I realise many think this is greediness, I have been a stockpiler long before COVID-19.’

Coles and Woolworths in Melbourne were forced to reinstate purchasing limits this week to avoid customers stripping shelves entirely bare.

Video and pictures taken at stores throughout the state show long queues outside shopping centres to stock up just a day before lockdown. 

In one video, customers at a Costco in Melbourne queued in the dark rugged up in beanies and scarves holding trolleys and baskets before the store even opened its doors. 








Metropolitan Melbourne and the Mitchell Shire will be thrust back into a six week lockdown as a second outbreak of COVID-19 ravages the state

Metropolitan Melbourne and the Mitchell Shire will be thrust back into a six week lockdown as a second outbreak of COVID-19 ravages the state

Customers again  stripped shelves bare when they learned they would be thrust back into lockdown

Customers again  stripped shelves bare when they learned they would be thrust back into lockdown

Pictured: A man with toilet paper in Melbourne on Tuesday

Pictured: A woman with multiple packs of toilet paper ahead of lockdown on Wednesday

Shoppers flocked to Melbourne supermarkets ahead of Wednesday’s lockdown 

Everybody in locked down suburbs, aside from those living inside 10 housing commission flats, will still be able to do their grocery shopping.

The stay-at-home orders will come with four exemptions, including grocery shopping, exercise, caring for a relative and going to work or school.

Toilet paper is capped at one packet per customer, while restrictions were also imposed on pasta, rice, hand sanitiser and paper towel.

The products impacted by buying limits at Coles include:

  • Pasta – two packets                                              Flour – two packets
  • Rice – two packets                                                Sugar – two packets
  • Fresh White Milk – two packets                    Chicken breast and thigh – two packets
  • Eggs – two packets                                              Mince meat – two packets
  • Frozen vegetables – two packets                Frozen chips – two packets
  • Tissues – two packets                                        Paper towel – two packets
  • Hand sanitiser – two packets                        Liquid soap – two packets
  • Toilet paper – one packet                                Frozen desserts – two packets 

The limits will be implemented at all Coles supermarkets, Coles Express and Coles Online within the affected local government areas.

Coles chief executive Steven Cain said the new limits were disappointing but a necessary measure to avoid widespread panic buying which was experienced in the early days of the pandemic. 

‘Our thoughts are with the many Victorians who will now be required to isolate at home, and we will continue to work with the state government to provide whatever assistance they need,’ Mr Cain said in a statement.

‘To help provide a safer shopping experience in our stores, we would ask that customers continue to treat our team members with respect, observe social distancing in stores, make use of the sanitising stations at the entrance, and plan their visit so they can be ‘speedy shoppers’.’

Supermarkets are again assuring customers that there is plenty of supply and no need to attempt to stockpile.  

A family of shoppers were spotted buying up essentials at supermarkets in Melbourne's western suburbs

A family of shoppers were spotted buying up essentials at supermarkets in Melbourne’s western suburbs

Daily Mail Australia watched the shoppers visit one supermarket, load up, and then do the same at another

Daily Mail Australia watched the shoppers visit one supermarket, load up, and then do the same at another

A Woolworths spokesman said the restrictions were necessary following the surge in demand overnight.  

‘All Woolworths supermarkets in Victoria will remain open throughout the next six weeks of stage three restrictions just as they did earlier this year,’ he said.

‘We have more than enough stock flowing from our distribution centres into stores to support all our customers’ food and grocery needs. We encourage our customers to continue shopping as they usually would.’

The hard lockdown comes into effect from 11.59pm on Wednesday.

Residents will still be able to do their grocery shopping during the six week lockdown

Residents will still be able to do their grocery shopping during the six week lockdown

This supermarket ran out of fresh veggies at one point as shoppers flocked to stores to stock up on groceries

This supermarket ran out of fresh veggies at one point as shoppers flocked to stores to stock up on groceries

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