Victoria entered a “short, sharp circuit-breaker” lockdown for five days on 12th February to respond to fears the highly infectious UK strain of coronavirus had spread throughout the community, said Premier Daniel Andrews.

He said the five-day lockdown, which is similar to snap restrictions imposed in Brisbane and Perth, was due to end hopefully at 11:59pm on Wednesday 17th February.

Coles has implemented purchase restrictions and additional safety measures in Victorian stores to help keep customers and team members safe, following the Victorian government’s announcement of increased COVID restrictions.

A Coles media release states: “We ask customers to ensure they are wearing a face mask before entering any Coles stores in Victoria unless they have an exemption – and the same rules apply to our team.

“Coles has also implemented enhanced safety and hygiene measures in stores in Victoria to help customers shop safely, including greeting customers at the entrance of selected stores where required to remind them to use the sanitising station, which includes hand sanitiser and disinfectant wipes for trolleys, before they enter.

“Coles’ standard cleaning procedures in all supermarkets, liquor stores and Coles Express sites comply with all government health and safety guidelines to reduce the risk of COVID transmission.

“To help customers access the food and groceries they need, we have increased service levels for Coles Online.

“To help manage demand for key staple items, limits are now in place at all Coles supermarkets, Coles Online and Coles Express stores in Victoria, including a one pack per customer limits for the following items:

•       Toilet paper    
•       Paper towels

And a two pack per customer limit for the following items:

•       Fresh white milk    
•       Hand sanitiser
•       Chilled pasta 
•       Liquid soaps
•       Poultry thighs
•       Poultry breasts
•       Tissues
•       Mince
•       Burgers
•       Frozen Vegetables
•       Sausages
•       Frozen Chips
•       Long life milk
•       Canned meals
•       Pasta
•       Canned fish
•       Pasta
•       Canned fish
•       Flour
•       Canned vegetables
•       Rice
•       Pre-packed seafood
•       Sugar 
•       Noodles
•       Eggs
•       Face Masks

“Coles will continue to monitor product availability and asks that customers only buy what they need to help ensure everyone in the community has access to food and everyday essentials. Please visit www.coles.com.au/covid19 to check the latest news on product limits and safety measures in place at your local store.”

Coles has put together some tips on how customers can minimise their time in store by being a Coles Speedy Shopper, including creating a shopping list ahead of time and organising it aisle-by-aisle in their chosen store before they shop using the Coles App, available here: www.coles.com.au/covid19/in-store-updates#speedy

Coles Chief Operations Officer Matt Swindells said the health and safety of customers and team members remains Coles’ top priority.

“We have well-established safety protocols in Victoria based on what we have learned from COVID restrictions implemented in other states. Taking these immediate and additional safety measures will protect and ensure our customers and team members can feel safe in our stores,” he said.

“We have also increased the number of team members in stores and expanded our Coles Online capacity to help serve customers quickly and safely during this busy time.

“We thank our amazing teams who are working tremendously hard and we appreciate our customers for their patience and for treating our team members with respect as we work through this challenging time together.”

For more information on measures in place in Victoria, visit the state government’s COVID-19 page at: https://www.coronavirus.vic.gov.au/coronavirus-covidsafe-summer AND https://www.premier.vic.gov.au/sites/default/files/2021-02/210212%20-%20Table%20of%20restrictions.pdf

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