Long queues as Good Friday shutdown prompts another rush on supermarkets

The supermarkets are closed for Good Friday tomorrow and that's prompted a rush on shopping.

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There’s usually a rush of shoppers before the Easter weekend, but this year – in the middle of an unprecedented lockdown – things are different. Source: 1 NEWS

Long queues have been experienced around the country, despite the fact stores reopen on Saturday.    

"It's the heaviest we've seen since the lockdown. The last few days have been very heavy," Countdown's Kiri Hannifin told 1 NEWS.

Main centres in particular are seeing a boom, with travellers not heading out of town to holiday hotspots.

But supermarkets stress they have enough stock.

Foodstuff's distribution centre in Christchurch alone holds more than 45,000 products.

"If everybody shops normally, if they look hard at their pantries at home and think, 'What can I consume today instead of purchasing additional?' that's a big help in spreading that volume," Foodstuff South Island's John Mullins says.

Countdown's growers are picking the most produce ever to meet demand.

"If you've got Easter Bunny duties I can imagine why you need to stay in the line, but we're open on Saturday again," Ms Hannifin says.

Watties says it's also broken records, pumping out 1.6 million cans in just 24 hours.

Meanwhile, service stations will be unusually quiet with no holiday travel.

Most are open everyday, including tomorrow, for fuel and essential items like bread and milk sold through the night pay window.

A new paywave limit will also help reduce physical contact while buying.

Previously only transactions of $80 or less could be made without a pin, but that's now been increased to $200.

As supermarkets shut tomorrow, it'll be a brief break for workers before they're back at it again with stores open through the weekend.