Skygate
Skygate

‘Packed in’: Aisles full as shoppers pour into Woolies

TORTUOUS queues confronted shoppers with new stringent safety measures intensifying the Good Friday grocery frenzy and creating crowds outside the only open Woolworths store in Brisbane today.

Social distancing was the order of the day at Woolworths Skygate with the supermarket rolling coronavirus crowd control policies to curb overcrowding from public holiday shoppers.

 

Woolworths at Skygate. Picture: Annette Dew
Woolworths at Skygate. Picture: Annette Dew

A strict customer limit of 220 people spawned congestion outside the store, with any shoppers waiting to enter forced to line-up outside the store in a queue that stretched through the centre.

Social distancing indicators spaced groups 1.5 metres apart, while stanchions funnelled customers into the store one at a time.

 

Woolworths at Skygate. Picture: Annette Dew
Woolworths at Skygate. Picture: Annette Dew

At the front of the queue, staff gloved-masked staff members dispensed hand sanitiser to anyone entering the store.

It was confronting sight that shoppers Nick Dodge and Chelsea Guenther said caught them by surprise.

 

"It was a pretty weird feeling … I don't think anyone's ever seen anything like that before," Mr Dodge said.

 

Nick Dodge and Chelsea Guenther from Red Hill at Woolworths at Skygate. Picture: Annette Dew
Nick Dodge and Chelsea Guenther from Red Hill at Woolworths at Skygate. Picture: Annette Dew

 

With security guards supervising the line and staff enforcing a 'one-in, one-out' policy to ensure order and efficiency.

Mr Dodge and Ms Guenther said they were able to enter the shop "pretty quickly".

"The line wasn't too bad," Mr Dodge said.

However, scenes inside the store played out differently with Mr Dodge saying many shoppers threw caution to the wind and packed into grocery aisles.

 

Woolworths at Skygate. Picture: Annette Dew
Woolworths at Skygate. Picture: Annette Dew

"We were trying to keep our distance but it was pretty hard." he said.

"There's no limit on aisles so anyone's just packing in everywhere."

 

Woolworths at Skygate. Picture: Annette Dew
Woolworths at Skygate. Picture: Annette Dew

A Woolworths spokesman said the Skygate store's social-distancing policies had been introduced maintain order for the Easter weekend.

However, "depending on panic buying behaviour", the spokesman said that additional security measures could be imposed in the future.

Originally published as 'Packed in': Aisles full as shoppers pour into Woolies


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