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Toilet Paper Panic-Buying Is Back: Purchase Limits Reinstated

The number of rising COVID-19 cases in Victoria has sparked a new round of panic-buying, a trend that is beginning to spread from Melbourne to NSW and South Australia. The photo in this article was taken from a Sydney supermarket today.

Two days ago Woolworths reintroduced a two-packet purchase limit on essentials, including toilet paper, hand sanitiser, paper towels, flour, sugar, pasta, mince, long life milk, eggs, and rice.

So far Coles has only brought back limits on most products at its Victorian supermarkets and Coles Express convenience stores, as well as on their online shopping services nationwide. However, Coles has introduced a limit of one pack of toilet paper per customer nationwide.

Both Coles and Woolworths had only lifted all their product limits in late May.

Yesterday, Coles confirmed that a second employee at the Coles Laverton Distribution Centre in Victoria had tested positive for COVID-19. “Both team members tested positive while self-isolating after family members returned positive tests. Any team members identified through contact tracing as having had close contact with them have been instructed to self-isolate and be tested for COVID-19,” Coles stated.

The retailer said it is already using thermal imaging cameras and hand-held contactless thermometers, as well as providing hand sanitiser stations, at all of its distribution centres.

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