Australia's major supermarkets are reinstating limits on toilet paper and paper towels nationally following a surge in demand linked to coronavirus.
Coles and Woolworths were forced on Wednesday to put purchase limits on toilet paper and other essential items in Victoria, after a spike of new coronavirus cases there led to panic buying.
From Friday, shoppers in other parts of the country similarly will be allowed to buy only two packs of toilet paper and paper towels at Woolworths stores and one pack at Coles.
"We've regrettably started to see elevated demand for toilet roll move outside Victoria in the past 24 hours," Woolworths Supermarkets Managing Director Claire Peters said in a statement on Friday.
"While the demand is not at the same level as Victoria, we're taking preventative action now to get ahead of any excessive buying this weekend and help maintain social distancing in our stores."
Ms Peters said the move is precautionary and designed to support appropriate social distancing in stores during the weekend.
"If customers already have enough toilet roll at home, there is no need to buy more," she said, adding that more than 650,000 additional packs of toilet paper have been ordered.
"The sooner we see buying patterns return to normal levels, as was the case throughout May and most of June, the quicker we'll be able to wind back limits."
In Victoria, purchase limits on eggs, flour, hand sanitiser, long-life milk, mince, pasta, sugar and rice are also in place at both major supermarkets.
Coles is also limiting purchases at NSW stores near the Victorian border including Albany, Deniliquin and Lavington.
"We ask that customers continue to shop normally so that everyone can have access to the food and groceries they need," a Coles spokeswoman said.
Australian Associated Press