Shoppers flock to ACT supermarkets despite pleas over panic buying

People across the ACT are flocking to supermarkets after a snap seven-day lockdown was announced.

Despite pleas from authorities about panic buying, shops across Canberra are full of people buying groceries and other goods.

In response, Coles and Woolworths have introduced buying limits on toilet paper in their stores across the ACT, with customers only allowed to buy two packs at a time.

READ MORE: ACT to enter snap seven-day lockdown after first COVID-19 case over a year

Supermarkets across Canberra and the ACT are packed with people ahead of the lockdown.

The one-week lockdown comes into effect at 5pm today but supermarkets, bottle shops, and other "essential" stores will remain open.

Despite this, crowds and long lines have been seen at stores all across Canberra.

During today's press conference announcing the lockdown, ACT Health Minister Rachel Stephen-Smith urged people not to rush out at once.

"There is no need for panic buying," Ms Stephen-Smith said.

She also told people to follow the rules early on so authorities could get on top of the outbreak.

"Do not look for a loophole … if in doubt don't do it unless it is absolutely essential."

Authorities have pleaded with people not to panic buy and assured them essential shops will stay open.

Coles also reminded customers all its supermarkets, bottle shops and service stations will remain open throughout the duration of lockdown.

"We will continue monitoring customer numbers and encourage them to use the sanitising stations at the entrance to our stores, which include hand sanitiser and disinfectant wipes for trolleys, before they enter," a spokesperson told 9News.com.au.

"We also ask that customers check-in each time they visit our stores by scanning the QR Codes on display at the front of the store, above the sanitiser stations within the store, or at the checkouts.

"Where required by the government, we ask our customers ensure they are wearing a face mask before entering our stores, unless they have an exemption – and the same rules apply to our team.

"We have plenty of stock in our supply chain and we ask that customers stay calm, shop normally and be respectful to our hard-working team members."

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