Woolworths is introducing more product limits and bringing in nurses for its staff in Melbourne coronavirus hotspots.
From Friday, there will be purchase limits of two items on 18 products, including frozen vegetables, bread loaves, chilled fresh milk, pre-packed sausages and burger patties as well as tissues.
The restrictions are on top of limits announced on a host of products last week by Woolworths and Coles after a re-emergence of panic buying in some Melbourne supermarkets.
Coles made a similar decision to expand purchase restrictions in its Victorian, Tasmanian and some southern NSW outlets on Thursday – which it blamed on supply chain issues after six workers at its distribution centre in Melbourne’s west contracted the coronavirus.
Woolworth said it would also put nurses into hotspot stores, distribution centres and customer online fulfilment centres.
All staff at those sites will be subject to compulsory temperature checks.
“We want to reassure everyone in Victoria that our distribution centres, customer online fulfilment centre and our supermarkets remain open and will continue to operate as essential services for the customers and communities that depend on them,” managing director Claire Peters said.
“If you’re in a hotspot area, we would encourage you to consider doing your grocery shopping online if possible. Together with our on-demand courier partners, we are able to fulfil thousands of extra orders each week.”
The company said it had opened up thousands of delivery slots for people in hotspot suburbs to use.
Woolworths has also extended the duration of its vulnerable team leave entitlements until July 29, so those staff only return to work when it is safe to do so.