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Australia's Major Bottle Shops Have Introduced New Limits on Alcohol to Discourage Hoarding

The limits are now in place at stores across the country.
By Samantha Teague
March 31, 2020
By Samantha Teague
March 31, 2020

When the Australian Government announced last week that pubs, bars and nightclubs would be closing the following day to help contain COVID-19, it led to the mass-buying of booze across the country. Bottle shops are not impacted by the closures, but it didn't stop Aussies stocking up just in case.

Booze is just the latest item to be targeted by panic-buying, with toilet paper going first, then essential food items. Supermarkets across the country have since introduced strict two-pack-per-person limits on coveted items, such as eggs, sugar, white milk, frozen desserts and canned tomatoes, and now bottle shops are following suit.

Australia's major bottle shops have today, Tuesday, March 31, introduced new temporary restrictions on alcohol. "In partnership with all major Australian alcohol retailers...we have applied moderate restrictions on the amount of produce customer can purchase," a statement on the BWS website reads. "Don't worry, supply isn't drying up, these changes have been made to ensure this is enough for everyone to responsibly enjoy their drink at the end of the day." Thankfully, the limits aren't quite as strict as those on food.

In NSW, Vic, ACT, Qld, NT, SA and Tas, there are per person, per transaction limits on six categories, with customers able to buy from up to two different categories at a time:

  • 12 bottles of wine
  • two casks of wine (up to ten litres)
  • two bottles of spirits (up to two litres)
  • two cases of beer
  • two cases of pre-mixed spirits/RTDs
  • two cases of cider

Stephen Dann via Flickr

The above restrictions have been enforced at major stores around the country, both in-store and online, including Woolworths Group's BWS and Dan Murphy's; Aldi; and Coles's Liquorland, First Choice Liquor and Vintage Cellars.

The new limits follow and supersede the restrictions introduced by the Woolworths Group last week.

In WA, the purchase limits are stricter, to adhere to state regulations, with customers able to buy a maximum of two from the following categories: 11.25 litres of beer, cider or pre-mixed spirits; 2.25 litres of wine; one litre of spirits; and one litre of fortified wine.

All the alcohol retailers are also encouraging social distancing, have introduced maximum capacities at their stores, and are offering pick-up, with some offering delivery.

The temporary alcohol limits are now in place at stores across Australia.

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.

Published on March 31, 2020 by Samantha Teague


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