Well god damn, here we go again. After Woolworths officials re-instated panic buying limits in Victoria two days ago amid a resurgence of shelf-stripping in the state, the company has now moved to extend those buying limits to every store across Australia. And Coles is following suit.

Both Woolies and Coles have put a hard limit on both toilet paper and paper towel for all Australian stores, with Coles extending buying limits to a range of other essential products in Victorian stores specifically.

Woolworths will be limiting all Australian customers to two packs of toilet paper and two packs of paper towel per purchase effective from 2pm this afternoon. Coles, on the other hand, is taking the stricter approach of limiting customers to just one pack of TP and paper towel each.

The re-instated buying limits apply to all stores – including regular supermarkets, Metro and Express stores, and online.

Both supermarkets were quick to confirm that they have ample stock available for customers, and that the mass shortages seen in March were not in danger of repeating. However in order to ensure all customers get the items they need, the buying limits were a necessity; one that became particularly pressing over the past 24 hours after evidence of panic buying spread outside of Victoria.

In a statement issued a short time ago, Woolworths Managing Director Claire Peters said “We’ve regrettably started to see elevated demand for toilet roll move outside Victoria in the past 24 hours. While the demand is not at the same level as Victoria, we’re taking preventative action now to get ahead of any excessive buying this weekend and help maintain social distancing in our stores.”

“We have ordered more than 650,000 additional packs of toilet roll into our network, which is an increase of more than 30 percent on our usual volumes. We have plenty of stock for all of us, so we encourage our customers to buy only what they need and think of others in the community as they shop this weekend. If customers already have enough toilet roll at home, there is no need to buy more,” Peters stated.

Victorians are also currently subject to buying limits on essential items like flour, eggs, and mince.

Image: AAP