Panic-buying returned to Sydney following an increase in coronavirus cases-but supermarkets are calling for calm after learning from earlier sales of frenzies.
Thirty new infections were registered on Sundays, most of them in a single day in months. Another 15 were registered on Monday, all connected to the Northern Beaches cluster.
It culminated in the re-imposition of restrictions across Greater Sydney to avoid “seeding” events where an outbreak occurred at the site.
But it also seems to have culminated in localised shopping frenzyes.
The images posted online on Sunday night, just hours after the restrictions were revealed, showed bare shelves.
The Belmore community Facebook group, made up of residents of the south-west suburb of Sydney and clear of the Northern Beaches cluster, posted some gloomy images.
The pictures showed the local Coles with just seven packets of toilet paper in their shelves.
Another photo from the nearby Roseland store painted a similar view.
The Northern Beaches were not in any better condition, with the Woolworths absolutely bare of toilet paper on their shelves.
Woolworths and Coles also state that the staff are tracking the situation closely.
But both of them also state that they learned from panic-buying spades when the very first wave of restrictions came in, noting that they had a lot of stock.
A Woolworths spokesperson said “There has been an increase in demand in some of our Northern Beaches shops, but not anywhere near the amount seen earlier this year.
“We will continue to keep a close eye on demand and stock levels.”
Coles Chief Operating Officer Matt Swindells added: “We have well-established safety protocols based on what we have learned from COVID restrictions in other states.”
Prime Minister Gladys Berejiklian also made a personal appeal for people not to hear.
“There’s absolutely no need to panic,” she said.
“Supermarkets in places where you need to pick up the essentials will remain open no matter what, whether it’s the Northern Beaches or the Northern Beaches.”
Her appeal, however, seems to have fallen to deaf ears.