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Countdown limits purchases of 'Covid items' nationwide as panic buying kicks in

Supermarket giant Countdown has already placed limits on the amount of "Covid items" that shoppers can purchase at one time at their stores nationwide as panic buying again sets in.

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Countdown's General Manager of Corporate Affairs Kiri Hannifin says there is enough to go around. Source: 1 NEWS

Countdown's General Manager of Corporate Affairs Kiri Hannifin explained the decision to 1 NEWS this afternoon.

"People have been buying the same things as last time, like frozen vegetables, tinned food, rice, pasta and toilet paper.

"What we’ve done today is we’ve put limits on products immediately so we can manage the supply and demand across our network so everyone can get what they need when they come in."

Ms Hannifin says the supermarket chain has learned a lot from the first round of Alert Level restrictions.

“Last time it took a couple of weeks to put those limits in place, but we have done it immediately this time on what we call ‘Covid-items’”.

She says there is plenty of stock for everyone and reiterated the message for Kiwis to shop normal.

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There are long queues outside Auckland supermarkets, despite pleas from Jacinda Ardern and the stores themselves, reports Wilson Longhurst. Source: Breakfast

It comes after people last night rushed to supermarkets throughout Auckland after four new cases of community transmission were announced.

1 NEWS reporter Matt Manukia was at a Countdown store in Auckland's New Lynn after the announcement, where he said people ripped the doors open after security tried to control the amount of people rushing in.

One of the woman said she needed food for her child.

At other supermarkets in Auckland, long queues of anxious shoppers formed outside the stores.

Ms Hannifin said today demand has calmed down but stores were still busy this morning.