Coronavirus supermarket opening times and purchase restrictions in Australia

Supermarkets and retailers across Australia are adjusting their opening hours as the federal government bans all non-essential indoor gatherings of more than 100 people.

Already toilet rolls, tinned goods, pasta and hand sanitiser were proving hard to come by as panic-buyers prepare for the weeks ahead. In Newcastle huge queues formed for Woolworths' first senior shopping hour.

Aldi, Woolworths and Coles today sent a joint message to customers asking for consideration for their staff. The message said: "We ask that you treat these dedicated people with the courtesy and respect they deserve. No one working or shopping in any of our stores should experience abusive or aggressive behaviour.

"Thank you for your patience and support as we rise to the challenge of these extraordinary times together."

The situation is constantly changing, but all three large supermarkets are putting limits on products like toilet rolls, dried pasta and antibacterial products like wipes and sprays.

Aldi has reduced it's opening our times to allow staff to restock shelves and stores like Apple have closed altogether.

A full list of shop openings and restricted items is below and will be updated as and when we receive information.

Woolworths

Woolworths is holding a dedicated shopping hour for the elderly and people with a disability from 7am to 8am from until Friday, March 20, when opening arrangements are expected to be reviewed. Access to the store requires a relevant Government issued concession card.

Woolworths has today (March 18) announced all shops will close at 8pm.

Woolworths has the following restrictions in place for buying goods:

No limits currently in place:

  • Fresh Fruit & Veg
  • Meat (excluding mince)
  • Deli
  • Bakery
  • Seafood
  • Fresh Milk
  • Canned Fish
  • Drinks (ambient and chilled)
  • Baby Food
  • Yoghurts
  • Easter confectionery & merchandise
  • Wet Dog Food
  • Wet Cat Food

1-pack limit per customer, per shop

  • Toilet paper
  • Baby wipes
  • Antibacterial wipes
  • Paper towel
  • Serviettes
  • Rice (2kg and over)

2-pack limit per customer, per shop

  • Every other category

Coles

Coles supermarket have launched a dedicated "Community Hour" from 7am to 8am. Stores will close at 8pm, two hours earlier than some larger Coles supermarkets.

Coles said this is to allow their staff to clean the stores and restock shelves.

Coles has the following restrictions in place for buying goods:

One pack per person:

  • Toilet paper

Two items per person:

  • Pasta
  • Flour
  • Dry rice
  • Paper towels
  • Paper tissues
  • Hand sanitisers
  • Mince meat - includes Beef, Pork, Lamb, Chicken & Turkey
  • Eggs
  • Chilled pasta
  • Frozen vegetables
  • Frozen desserts
  • Sugar
  • UHT long-life milk
  • Canned tomatoes
  • Liquid soap
  • Chilled white milk - includes all sizes of Coles Brand and branded white dairy milk, plant-based non-dairy and goats milk sold chilled in our dairy fridges in supermarkets and at Coles Express

Aldi

Aldi has changed its trading hours to 9.30am to 7pm, unless other state and local trading restrictions apply. The chain has said they will be re-evaluating these hours on a weekly basis. Aldi said the change in opening hours will allow staff to take a break, restock shelves and allow thorough cleaning.

Aldi has the following restrictions in place for buying goods:

One pack per person:

  • Toilet paper

Two items per person:

  • Dry Pasta
  • Flour
  • Dry Rice (excludes microwave rice)
  • Paper Towels
  • Tissues
  • Hand Sanitiser

Australia Post

Australia Post has made self service terminals at Post Offices unavailable and customers will no longer require to give a signature for a deliver or collection.

The customer will still need to be present for this to occur, but contact will be minimised by either leaving the parcel at the door until the driver or postie has left the premises or left for the customer to pick up on the counter.

There are currently international delivery delays.