Woolworths and Coles restrict purchases due to rising Covid and flu cases

New purchase restrictions have been put in place at Coles and Woolworths as cases spike and retailers grapple with supply issues.

Scary supermarket food restrictions are back as Covid and flu take a toll on Australians’ health.

Inventory levels of products popular with people battling disease had been dwindling for weeks, leaving Coles and Woolworth with little choice but to reintroduce severe purchase restrictions.

Coles customers nationwide have been limited to two packs of face wipes per person, with the two pack limit also extending to Woolworths wipes nationwide.

Supply issues were cited as the main reason for the restrictions at both Coles and Woolworth.

“Given the recent cold snap and the early start of the flu season, demand has increased for a range of medical and paper products, including cold and flu pills, throat lozenges and wipes,” a spokesman for Woolworths told news.com.au.

“The supply of wipes has been particularly affected, so to ensure fair access for more customers, we have introduced a two-pack per customer limit for all wipes across Australia.

“For other medicines, customers may notice that the availability of some of their preferred brands may be limited, we still offer a wide range of alternatives in those ranges. We encourage everyone to continue shopping as usual and only buy what they need.”

A spokesman for Coles said that finding enough wipes was more of a problem than extreme customer demand.

They told news.com.au that the restriction was imposed “due to supply issues, not consumer demand.”

“We are working hard with vendors to improve availability as quickly as possible.”

They added that current sales of flu pills and lozenges were consistent for the time of year and were not particularly unusual.

Meanwhile, consumers are expressing frustration online over the difficulty of finding common pain relievers.

Popular products also appear to have become difficult to buy online as Panadol tablets are not available on the Chemist Warehouse website for residents of the country’s east coast.

Availability does not appear to be widespread for pharmacies and people-handling supermarkets, although shelves have been seen with ample margin.

Covid-19 is still rampant in the NSW community, with 13,343 cases reported on Thursday and 62 people being treated for the infection in an intensive care unit.

NSW Health has confirmed that the state is experiencing high levels of influenza activity coupled with a new wave of Covid transmission caused by AD. 4 and BA. 5 sublines.

The Department of Health has predicted that the current wave of Covid will peak sometime in late July or early August, depending on factors such as growth advantage, population immunity levels, and environmental and behavioral factors.

Originally published as Woolworths and Coles reintroduce food purchase restrictions as Covid and flu cases rise