Long queues have been forming outside supermarkets across the Perth metropolitan area despite the WA Premier urging people not to panic-buy as the state heads into its first coronavirus lockdown in nine months.

  • Shelves across Perth were stripped bare after the lockdown announcment
  • The WA Premier urged people not to panic buy, as shops would be open
  • WA Police will be out providing protection and reassurance at shops

Announcing the five-day lockdown, Mark McGowan urged people to act calmly and take sensible precautions, saying people would still be able to leave their homes to buy food and essentials.
“I say this so that people understand you do not need to rush out to the supermarket today,” Mr McGowan said.
But within half an hour of the announcement, long lines were forming at supermarket check-outs and shelves were being stripped bare of toilet paper.
A line quickly formed at Woolworths in East Fremantle.(ABC News: Layla Tucak)
Mr McGowan moved to reassure people that they did not need to panic, as the state was well-equipped to handle the lockdown.
WA lockdown rules explained
This is what you can and can’t do under the current WA lockdown.
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Under the lockdown rules, goods are still able to be transported into and around the state to ensure food and other supplies.
Beginning at 6:00pm tonight, the lockdown affects the Perth metropolitan area, the Peel region and the South West region.
It comes after a security guard in hotel quarantine tested positive to the virus.
“Take care of your loved ones and be respectful of others, including those who are working to keep essential services and supplies ticking over,” Mr McGowan said.
Shelves at Woolworths were stripped just 30 minutes after the Premier’s announcement.(Supplied: Caitlin Pratt)
“I urge the community to act calmly. This is crucial.”
His sentiments were echoed by the WA Police Commissioner, Chris Dawson.
“Be considerate, don’t do this panic shopping and all this sort of thing.” Mr Dawson said.
“We will be out in the community providing protection and reassurance for our community.”
Shoppers at Coles in Maylands wore masks as they entered.(ABC News: Keane Bourke)
The Commissioner also called on the public to be considerate at COVID testing clinics, where they may have to queue in hot temperatures this week.
“I’d ask the community to just cooperate, the way we did in March through to AprilMay,” he said.
“We just have to respond the way we did previously and we will get through this.”
Unlike Western Australia’s last lockdown, masks will be mandatory this time for anyone leaving their homes for essential purposes, including to buy food at the supermarket.
A timeline of COVID-19 in Western Australia

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