There is "mayhem" in Canberra supermarkets, as people rush to stock up ahead of the ACT's seven-day lockdown, which started at 5pm on Thursday.
Shoppers across the city are seen queuing in lines that snake through produce aisles all the way through malls and even onto streets outside major shopping centres.
ACT Health Minister Rachel Stephens-Smith has condemned the panic buyers, saying she wants Canberrans to "stay calm and be thoughtful."
"Supermarkets will remain open, and grocery shopping will be allowed during this seven-day lockdown," she said.
"There is no need for panic buying. And our key message to people is please be patient, be kind with one another, and be thoughtful."
By lunchtime Thursday, a queue at Majura Park Costco stretched along the side of the building for about 150 metres.
A supermarket worker let people in when they showed their CBR Check In app, regulating store numbers with a manager via a walkie-talkie.
A ration of one bundle of toilet paper per person had been imposed, and the section was being stocked up directly, as shoppers cleared it out - buyers said they were grabbing toilet paper "just in case".
Restaurants in the shopping centre were also packed, a last opportunity to dine in as the lockdown restricts hospitality to takeaway options only.
Images from Dickson Woolworths showed heavy traffic as people rush to stock up on groceries before lockdown.
A line at Woolworths in Dickson weaved throughout the fruit and vegetable aisles, looping the perimeter of the entire store and reaching as far as the carpark outside at just after 1pm on Thursday.
Shopper Aladino Solar said his children told him to stock up before lockdown and said he had been waiting for half an hour.
Emma said she wanted to pick up medication and get a few days worth of food for her grandma, thinking there wouldn't be many people around at midday.
She said there should have been a priority system, to allow more vulnerable people to buy food first.
"When I walked in, [I saw] these two elderly people that would have been in their 80s just stand at the door and be like, 'oh my god what do we do?' Because it was already mayhem," she said.
"A nurse just cant leave the ward when they hear about a lockdown. There's not gonna be anything for them. And that is concerning for me. It's the most vulnerable people in society that will be impacted the most from the rush."
At Dickson Woolworths during midday, there appeared to be plenty of toilet paper left, with workers hurrying to restock items, and many people appeared to be wearing masks.
Woolworths and Coles both said they would be limiting people to buying two packs of toilet paper.
Coles urged Canberrans to "stay calm" and "shop normally" in a tweet on Thursday afternoon.
Keep calm Canberra, we've got plenty of groceries and our stores will remain open during lock down. Just in case, we've put a two pack per person limit on toilet paper in the ACT to help us meet demand. Shop normally and there will be enough for everyone.— Coles Supermarkets (@Coles) August 12, 2021
Footage posted to social media also showed lines of people waiting to pay for their goods in Manuka Coles.
Lines have also been spotted in the Canberra Centre, as people wait to enter Coles.
Demand for COVID-19 testing is also expected to increase, Chief Minister Andrew Barr said in his address to the media.
Minister Stephens-Smith urged people to get tested if they have symptoms but to stay away if they only feel "anxious."
"Please do not turn up to get tested, because you're anxious. If you have no symptoms, and you haven't been asked to be tested by AACT Health, and you haven't been in any of those exposure locations, staying at home is the best thing that you can do to protect yourself and your community," she said.
It's reported that the wait for testing at Exhibition Park in Canberra's drive-through clinic is currently eight hours.
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