Around the world, panicked shoppers have been stocking up on supplies, requiring many stores to start rationing items like toilet paper, face masks, and hand sanitizer. Now, shops in Australia have introduced measures to discourage the hoarding of another essential product: alcohol.
According to Reuters, Australian supermarket chains including Coles and Woolworths have agreed to limit the amount of alcohol shoppers are allowed to buy each day, after social distancing measures caused a surge in purchases.
Under the new, admittedly generous, limits, shoppers are required to stick to two cases of beer or pre-mixed drinks per day, one case of wine, and/or two bottles of spirits. Purchases are also limited to two of the above product categories.
“These temporary measures will ensure that all consumers can continue to access their favorite drinks when they decide to make a purchase,” Julie Ryan, CEO of Retail Drinks Australia, an industry group that recommended instituting the purchase limits, told Reuters.
Last week, the state of Western Australia imposed its own alcohol purchase limits — less to foil hoarders and more to ensure that alcohol-related issues don’t place an unnecessary burden on Australia’s hospitals.
“Alcohol-related issues take up an enormous amount of resources in our health system,” Western Australia’s Premier Mark McGowan said. “These are resources we simply cannot afford to spare during the Covid-19 situation.”