Lockdown triggers last minute supermarket bedlam
SHOPPERS were lining up to get into Ipswich supermarkets from early this morning, following news a lockdown would come into effect at 6pm, Friday night.
The lockdown does not forbid grocery shopping, meaning shopping can take place during the three-day lockdown but locals were eager to get out Friday morning.
At the Brassall Shopping Centre, lines were backed up from the Woolworths entrance to nearly the other end of the plaza as people itched to get inside.
Working near the entrance to the supermarket giant, employees at Smokemart saw it all.
A spokeswoman described the lines to get into Woolworths as “massive”.
“Virtually half an hour after the announcement, it was chockers,” she said.
“It was pretty quick, I’m amazed how quick it got out this time.”
The spokeswoman said shoppers’ response looked more chaotic than last time panic buying culture rippled through the community.
“I think it’s worse,” she said.
“It’s definitely big, everyone’s buying, there’s panic, it’s panic buying.”
A Woolworths spokesman said the store had received a rush and were busy.
He said people weren’t necessarily stocking up on toilet paper or hand sanitiser again but were buying normal groceries.
The lockdown, which was announced this morning for Ipswich and Greater Brisbane, was imposed in attempt to stop the spread of a new, highly contagious UK strain of COVID-19.
A cleaner working at a quarantine hotel in Brisbane tested positive to the strain on January 6.
Chief Health Officer Dr Jeannette Young said on Friday morning that the variety was highly infectious.
“We know this particular variant can spread very rapidly, if it gets hold so my hope it that it hasn’t got hold,” she said.
LOCAL NEWS: Ipswich residents told stay home or wear mask
A three day lockdown has been imposed and will finish on Monday 6pm.
People are encouraged to stay home but are able to leave the house for work, exercise, essentials and to access healthcare.
She reminded Queenslanders they were welcome to buy groceries during the lockdown and pleaded with them not to panic-buy.
LOCAL NEWS: Face masks selling like hot cakes in Ipswich
“There is absolutely no issue, all our shops are fully-stocked and there is no need to go and buy up big,” Dr Young said.
“If you have enough at home for the next three days, just stay home and wait until next week to do your shopping.”
Face masks will be mandatory from this evening for anyone leaving the house.
Read more news by Ebony Graveur.