Woolworths and Coles have once again reinstated purchase limits in Victoria, as Melbourne heads for lockdown

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  • Woolworths and Coles have reinstated buying limits as parts of Victoria, come under stage three lockdowns.
  • The lockdowns cover metropolitan Melbourne and Mitchell Shire, meaning residents are only allowed to leave home under limited conditions.
  • It comes after Victoria reported 191 new coronavirus cases on Tuesday.
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Victoria is facing restrictions at major supermarkets yet again as the growing number of coronavirus cases leads the state into stage three lockdowns.

On Tuesday, Victoria reported 191 new coronavirus cases – the highest single day increase since the pandemic began – which prompted Premier Daniel Andrews to announce stage three lockdowns.

The lockdowns apply to metropolitan Melbourne and the Mitchell Shire in regional Victoria. Under them, residents in those regions are only allowed to leave their homes for four reasons – essential shopping, exercise, giving or receiving medical care and attending work if it can’t be done at home.

After lifting its restrictions around the country on Tuesday, Woolworths reinstated them in Victorian stores and online as demand spiked across the state overnight.

There are 2-item limits across 27 product categories including frozen vegetables, frozen fish, frozen pizza, eggs, mince, rice and flour.

“All Woolworths supermarkets in Victoria will remain open throughout the next six weeks of stage three restrictions just as they did earlier this year,” Woolworths said in a statement.

The supermarket also encouraged Victorians to keep shopping as they normally would.

“We have more than enough stock flowing from our distribution centres into stores to support all our customers’ food and grocery needs,” it added.

Coles had also removed its limits around Australia. However, it has now reinstated temporary limits at its stores and online in the Victorian local government areas affected by the lockdowns.

Coles has a one-item limit on toilet paper, but a two-item limit on several other products including pasta, flour, hand sanitiser, sugar and eggs.

It’s no surprise that Coles and Woolworths continue to enforce and remove restrictions, as they account for the lion’s share of supermarket shoppers. Roy Morgan research found Aussies spent $94.6 billion in supermarkets during the year until March 2020, with Woolworths and Coles accounting for 67.5% of it.