Supermarket chaos erupts in Auckland as virus returns
Supermarkets aren't even closing but shoppers are still going nuts in Auckland after New Zealand confirmed four new coronavirus cases.
Despite New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern imploring people not to rush to supermarkets when she announced the return of coronavirus and restrictions in a press conference Monday night, people have not heeded warnings.
Residents immediately started posting photos and videos to social media of long queues outside shopping centres after news four COVID-19 cases had been diagnosed in one family with no known source.
In the most shocking clip, security guards can be seen trying to control the stream of shoppers forcing their way through the doors of the New Lynn Countdown.
A child is crying as someone tells staff the woman needs food for her child.
Police are at New Lynn Countdown after people ripped the doors open when security tried to control the amount of people rushing in. That woman is saying she needs food for her kid. This ain’t it Auckland. pic.twitter.com/PDf1Oe26Mx— Matt Manukia (@MattManukiaTVNZ) August 11, 2020
Just a few moments before. pic.twitter.com/lt6OYo7ran— Matt Manukia (@MattManukiaTVNZ) August 11, 2020
But even when stage three restrictions return for Auckland at midday tomorrow, people will still be able to leave the home for essential services like buying groceries.
"Please do not rush to the supermarket tonight ... there is no reason to rush out and make any purchases this evening," Ms Ardern said.
"You'll even be able to get a takeaway coffee."
The New Lynn Countdown was forced to close shortly before 10.30pm, an hour and a half early, after it was overrun by the shoppers
Definitely don’t go to the supermarket tonight Auckland people. pic.twitter.com/wTznPfvrWr— Ricky Wilson (@RickyWilsonVJ) August 11, 2020
Countdown Greenland, Auckland 🙄 pic.twitter.com/s9ELMI8Z0U— Lorna Subritzky (@lornaexplorernz) August 11, 2020
Ms Ardern said Aucklanders should use a mask if they leave the house to access essential services but many were not wearing them tonight or following social distancing measures.
"It was chaos. There was traffic blocking all of the roads leading to the supermarket, the parking lot was completely full and there were cars queued to get into the parking lot," one Greenland shopper told the NZ Herald.
Countdown's website was also overwhelmed, warning of "very high demand" on its online shopping service.
New Zealand had been virus free for 102 days until the family cluster was announced last night.
The cases have no known source.
The first case confirmed was a person in their 50s who presented to their GP with symptoms yesterday.
Authorities sprung into action and tested the rest of the family.
Of the six other family members tested, three were positive and the others returned negative results.
The rest of the country will move to stage two restrictions from midday tomorrow to midnight Friday, with gatherings limited to 100 and social distancing measures in place.
Originally published as Supermarket chaos erupts in Auckland