WATCH: Video shows panic buyers crawling to grab goods

 

PANIC BUYERS were seen lined up at shops across the Gold Coast to stock-up amid the novel coronavirus outbreak.

Footage from this morning shows dozens of shoppers gripping trolleys and crawling under doors as the Coles store opens at Ashmore.

A resident who witnessed the crowd said they had begun lining up at 8:45, for the 9am open.

"I was having a coffee at the cafe close by, when people started arriving, within three minutes they were out the door," the resident said.

"People were queued up ready to get in, they weren't even taking a chance by grabbing a trolley once they were inside - they had their own ready to go."

"I just couldn't believe it, it was all about the essentials first."

"Anything to do with hygiene, pasta and toilet paper went."

A staff member told reporters the onslaught was 'worse than Christmas.'

Other shoppers who arrived later said they were glad to miss the panic.

Line up for the Ashmore Coles.
Line up for the Ashmore Coles.

Parkwood resident Michelle Cadman said she hasn't felt pressured to stock up just yet.

"We haven't been one of those ones to stock up at all, but we saw every single person ahead toilet paper so we have decided to get some ourselves," the mother of three said.

"I don't know why."

"We just have a short list so far so for us it is totally fine, no mayhem.

"But I am looking for hand sanitiser so who knows."

Shoppers crawl under doors as Gold Coast supermarket opens.
Shoppers crawl under doors as Gold Coast supermarket opens.

Meanwhile Tweed supermarkets have been given the green light for extended delivery hours as panic buyers continue to strip shelves in the shire and across the country.

Councillor James Owen said Tweed Shire Council signed off on the request on Friday.

He took to Facebook revealing Woolworths called him asking for a two-week moratorium on the enforcement of delivery curfews at Tweed stores during the coronavirus pandemic.

"In plain English this means they want their trucks to be able to deliver items such as toilet paper and antibacterial products outside of the current permitted hours so they can keep stores (and shelves) well stocked and people don't feel the need to stockpile," he said.

"To do so will most likely require them operating outside of curfew hours at their stores."

Cr Owen said the council usually restricts delivery hours to minimise disruption in the community.

Bare shelves at Coles Casuarina. Picture: James Owen
Bare shelves at Coles Casuarina. Picture: James Owen

But he was happy to sign off on the request considering the unusual situation.

"In these extenuating circumstances I am supportive of allowing all supermarket operators to deliver outside of current curfew hours for two weeks, to help alleviate some of the day to day pressures our community is facing at this time," he said.

Council planning and regulation director Vince Connell said: "Supermarkets have told us pressure is being placed on supermarkets' supply chain, especially on key items such as toilet paper and antibacterial products."

"They are keen to ensure customers understand that there is no need to stockpile and they can assist this by keeping shelves in stores well stocked," he said.

The council has apologised to residents for any inconvenience or additional noise.