Panic buying hits Brisbane ahead of three-day snap lockdown

Supermarkets in Brisbane have been inundated with shoppers desperate to stock up on supplies as panic buying ramps up again ahead of the three-day snap lockdown

The city will be plunged into the strict lockdown at 5pm on Monday after four new local Covid cases were found amid an outbreak of the highly-contagious UK variant.

Just 45 minutes after the announcement, reports emerged of locals brawling in supermarket aisles over toilet roll – with a nine-month pregnant woman in Arana Hills knocked out by a trolley-wielding shopper hunting for flour.

More than two million residents living in Greater Brisbane will be allowed outside only for essential reasons – for work, for exercise, to buy essential supplies or for care.

Despite being allowed to go the supermarket for food and supplies, many locals wasted no time in heading to their local grocery stores with alarming photos showing queues of shoppers spilling out the doors.

A woman is seen leaving a Brisbane shopping centre in Newstead in Brisbane on Monday as the city prepares to enter into a three-day lockdown

A woman is seen leaving a Brisbane shopping centre in Newstead in Brisbane on Monday as the city prepares to enter into a three-day lockdown

A woman is seen leaving a Brisbane shopping centre in Newstead in Brisbane on Monday as the city prepares to enter into a three-day lockdown

A young family stopped by a Woolworths in Newstead, Brisbane on Monday before the city goes into lockdown at 5pm

A young family stopped by a Woolworths in Newstead, Brisbane on Monday before the city goes into lockdown at 5pm

A young family stopped by a Woolworths in Newstead, Brisbane on Monday before the city goes into lockdown at 5pm

Shoppers line up outside a Woolworths at the Montague Markets in West End on Monday

Shoppers line up outside a Woolworths at the Montague Markets in West End on Monday

Shoppers line up outside a Woolworths at the Montague Markets in West End on Monday

Shoppers are seen at a Woolworths in Newstead on Monday after four cases of coronavirus were recorded

Shoppers are seen at a Woolworths in Newstead on Monday after four cases of coronavirus were recorded

Drivers queued up to be tested in Bowen Hills on Monday (pictured) as the lockdown was announced

Drivers queued up to be tested in Bowen Hills on Monday (pictured) as the lockdown was announced

Shoppers are seen at a Woolworths in Newstead on Monday after four cases of coronavirus were recorded (pictured, left) while cars queued to be tested in Bowen Hills (right)

A woman is seen at a grocery store in Brisbane as residents prepare to go into a lockdown

A woman is seen at a grocery store in Brisbane as residents prepare to go into a lockdown

A woman what is girl sex seen at a grocery store in Brisbane as residents prepare to go into a lockdown

At a Coles supermarket in New Farm, in Brisbane’s inner city, masked shoppers were seen lined up outside the doors while a staff member tried to organise the mass of customers coming and going.

Similar scenes were captured at a Woolworths in the nearby suburb of Newstead. 

Customers socially distanced while waiting in the queue that had spilled out into the rest of the shopping centre.

Another line of shoppers were seen eagerly waiting outside a Woolworths store at the Montague Markets in West End. 

Some shoppers have reported waiting in lines of up to an hour long with queues snaking around store aisles. 

The mad rush into supermarkets has prompted Woolworths to enforce limits on some products.

Customers will only be able to purchase two packs of items such as toilet paper, antibacterial wipes, tissues, and frozen fruit and vegetables.  

Other items like meat, bread, eggs, milk, pasta, handwash, deli goods and noodles will also be limited to two per customer. 

Staff are also limiting the amount of shoppers allowed inside stores. 

Queues were also seen at Covid testing clinics across Greater Brisbane, including this one in Bowen Hills (pictured)

Queues were also seen at Covid testing clinics across Greater Brisbane, including this one in Bowen Hills (pictured)

Queues were also seen at Covid testing clinics across Greater Brisbane, including this one in Bowen Hills (pictured)

Customers socially distanced while waiting in the the queue that had spilled out into the rest of the shopping centre (pictured Newstead in Brisbane)

Customers socially distanced while waiting in the the queue that had spilled out into the rest of the shopping centre (pictured Newstead in Brisbane)

Customers socially distanced while waiting in the the queue that had spilled out into the rest of the shopping centre (pictured Newstead in Brisbane)

At a Coles supermarket in New Farm, in Brisbane's inner city, masked shoppers were seen lined up outside the doors while a staff member tried to organise the mass of customers coming and going

At a Coles supermarket in New Farm, in Brisbane's inner city, masked shoppers were seen lined up outside the doors while a staff member tried to organise the mass of customers coming and going

At a Coles supermarket in New Farm, in Brisbane’s inner city, masked shoppers were seen lined up outside the doors while a staff member tried to organise the mass of customers coming and going

Shoppers are seen filling up their trolleys at a store in Brisbane ahead of the city's lockdown

Shoppers are seen filling up their trolleys at a store in Brisbane ahead of the city's lockdown

Shoppers are seen filling up their trolleys at a store in Brisbane ahead of the city’s lockdown

Most shoppers were seen carrying toilet paper with fears the scenes on Monday will escalate to how they were at the start of the year when Brisbane was thrown into another three-day lockdown.

Cafes, pubs and restaurants will be closed in Greater Brisbane, which includes Brisbane, Logan, Moreton Bay, Ipswich and Redlands – and schools will also be forced to shut. 

Huge queues were also seen at testing clinics across Greater Brisbane, after dozens of venues were put on alert. 

Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk had earlier called on residents not to overreact and start panic buying.

‘The supermarkets, the shops are full of supplies and you will still be able to go out and get food as part of this lockdown,’ she said.

‘So please don’t go out and panic buy today.

The shops will operate – the food shops will operate as per usual.’ 

Woolworths has placed restrictions on some items such as toilet paper in bids to prevent panic buying

Woolworths has placed restrictions on some items such as toilet paper in bids to prevent panic buying

Woolworths has placed restrictions on some items such as toilet paper in bids to prevent panic buying

As news of the lockdown surfaced, residents raced to the shops to stock up on supplies (pictured Coles in New Farm, Brisbane)

As news of the lockdown surfaced, residents raced to the shops to stock up on supplies (pictured Coles in New Farm, Brisbane)

As news of the lockdown surfaced, residents raced to the shops to stock up on supplies (pictured Coles in New Farm, Brisbane)

A man is seen leaving a Coles supermarket in New Farm on Monday with a case of coco cola

A man is seen leaving a Coles supermarket in New Farm on Monday with a case of coco cola

A man is seen leaving a Coles supermarket in New Farm on Monday with a case of coco cola

Three of the new cases found in the Sunshine State are close contacts of existing or historical cases but those infected may have been out in the community – raising the risk more transmission may have occurred. 

Ms Palaszczuk said she was declaring the whole of Greater Brisbane a hotspot from 5pm and called on other states and territories to do so too. 

Two of the cases visited the popular tourist town of Byron Bay in northern NSW while infectious, sparking fears the virus has spread interstate. 

While the city’s in lockdown, only two visitors will be allowed in the home under the new rules and restaurants and cafes will be restricted to takeaway service only.

The UK strain of coronavirus – known as B117 – is believed to be at least 50 per cent more transmissable than other variants. 

Conociendo Tumente