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Australian Supermarkets Are Starting to Lift Some Limits on Everyday Items

Restrictions are still in place on items such as toilet paper, hand sanitiser, pasta and rice, though.
By Sarah Ward
April 19, 2020
By Sarah Ward
April 19, 2020

Entering an Australian supermarket over the past month or so, you can be forgiven for thinking that you're walking onto the set of a post-apocalyptic film. People have been everywhere — until customer limits were put in place in-store — but the shelves are often bare, with shoppers panic-buying everything from toilet paper and hand sanitiser to pasta and milk.

As the COVID-19 situation evolved, local supermarket chains were forced to implement item limits — and increase them when the hoarding kept happening, causing everyday staples to keep selling out. But, while some restrictions aren't going anywhere soon, Coles and Woolworths have started to lift caps on a range of items.

At Coles, limits have been lifted on both UHT and fresh milk, all types of meat, plus tissues and nappies. The company currently only has one-pack-per-person limits on toilet paper and paper towels, and two-pack-per-person cap on eggs, sugar, frozen vegetables, frozen desserts, canned tomatoes, pasta, all dry rice regardless of size, flour, hand sanitiser, liquid soap and antibacterial wipes — although additional limits may still be placed on other items on a store-by-store basis, so it's best to pay attention to the signage while you're shopping.

Over at Woolies, caps have now been removed on tinned tomatoes, canned legumes and all canned vegetables; longlife milk; oats; baby care items excluding wipes; and serviettes. A few weeks back, it was easier to list what wasn't restricted than detail what did have limits, with a two-pack-per-person limit applying in general to most products; however the chain's caps have been changing regularly. Still, before you head in to buy groceries, it's worth checking out the Woolies website for the latest details.

Aldi's most recent limits are all still in place, including caps on toilet paper (one pack); dry pasta, dry rice, flour, paper towels, tissues, sanitiser and eggs (two packs); UHT milk, sugar and microwavable rice (six packs); and canned foods (ten packs). At IGA, it's still a store-by-store decision. "In the spirit of helping everyone in our local communities access essential items, stores have placed purchase limits on items that are critically low in stock. These limits are being managed on a store by store basis and are increasing day by day," the chain advised in a statement.

For more details on Australian supermarket item limits, keep an eye on Coles, Woolworths, Aldi and IGA's websites.

To find out more about the status of COVID-19 in Australia and how to protect yourself, head to the Australian Government Department of Health's website.

Top image: Vakrieger via Wikimedia Commons.

Published on April 19, 2020 by Sarah Ward

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