While some people are panic buying essential items like toilet paper and food items, in Australia due to panic buying of alcohol authorities have decided to clamp down on the amount of alcohol people can buy. This new measure is designed to restrict people from developing addictions while in self-isolation. According to international media reports, a range of independent retailers, like Liquorland, Vintage Cellars and First Choice, have put a limit on alcohol purchasing.
A person in Australia is only allowed to buy two cases of beer, two cases of cider, two cases of pre-mixed spirits, 12 bottles of wine, two casks of wine (not to exceed 10 litres) or two bottles of spirits (not to exceed two-litre). While speaking to an international media outlet, Retail Drinks CEO, Julie Ryan, said that it was clear that uncertainty on the impact of supply following the closure of pubs, clubs and restaurants last week caused some people to purchase differently. He further reportedly added that the new measures will ensure that all consumers can continue to access their favourite drink when they decide to make a purchase.
While some believe that the new measures will ensure that there is enough supply to go around as well as allow retailers to do their part to encourage people to continue to purchase alcohol responsibly, the World Health Organisation, on the other hand, has reportedly warned people against drinking during self-isolation. A technical officer at WHO Europe’s mental health and substance abuse department said that using alcohol will be an ‘unhelpful coping’ strategy during the lockdown.
Meanwhile, Australia has recently confirmed at least 97 new cases, spiking the total figure of COVID-19 to 4,557, as per the reports. The government has suspended international air travel and sealed the borders in an attempt to stem the spread. It also resolved to pump AUS $105 billion to fuel Canberra's stagnant economy as the nation slowly poised into a global recession after 29 years of economic growth.
Treasurer Josh Frydenberg reportedly predicted that the latest AUS $66 billion announced by Prime Minister Morrison will fetch the government and central bank measures to support the economy to at least 10 per cent of gross domestic product (GDP), close to AUS $189 billion.
The extraordinary times require extraordinary measures as the world faces a challenge like never seen before, he was quoted saying in a news conference. Western Australia Premier Mark McGowan was reported saying that Rottnest Island, which is a popular tourist destination and former Aboriginal prison site, could be designed into a quarantine zone for the Australians that were reluctant to self-isolate.