Woolworths’ restrictions on purchases of certain items has been brought to a close. It’s yet another sign that fears over coronavirus are easing in Australia.
The supermarket giant announced on Monday that all restrictions on buying had now been removed. Even the most sought after items during the Covid-19 panic buying, such as hand santitisers and some cooking essentials, no longer have purchase quotas.
“This is a big milestone and a positive sign following months of hard work from our teams and significant support from our suppliers to ensure the replenishment of our shelves during a period of extraordinary demand,” Woolworths Supermarkets Managing Director, Claire Peters said.
Supermarkets introduced restrictions in March to counter a wave of panic buying that swept Australia as lockdown orders were implemented. The consumer hoarding that began with toilet paper quickly spread to items like hand wash and disinfectants. They were soon followed by food items such as flour and pasta because people feared them not being available due to the panic buying.
Supermarkets such as Coles and Woolworths introduced quota restrictions in an effort to keep products available for those that most needed them.
Woolworths’ restrictions have been gradually eased over the past several weeks. Coles had removed its purchase quotas by the end of May.
More restrictions lifted as coronavirus fears ease
According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics, people are feeling less fearful about coronavirus as restrictions are being rolled back across the country.
Australians said they were leaving the home more but still being cautious. Of the 1000 people surveyed by the ABS in late May, those avoiding going out in public fell to 74 per cent. That was down from 85 per cent earlier in the month. However, most people say they were still following the social distancing guidelines; remaining unchanged at 95 per cent, however.
In line with rollback decisions such as Woolworths’ restrictions, the stockpiling of household items has fallen too. Just 13 per cent of respondents said they had purchased additional household supplies. That was down from 21 per cent earlier in the month.
The survey also revealed 86 per cent were at least “somewhat comfortable” with going back to work. 53 per cent said they were “very comfortable”. Just over 80 per cent said they were at least “somewhat comfortable” sending their kids to school.
The majority of people were still uncomfortable with flying and attending large events, though.