People in Brisbane rushed to stores to buy supplies as Australia's third most populous city prepares to enter a three-day lockdown.
Greater Brisbane -- home to more than 2.2 million people -- will begin a three-day lockdown from Friday night, local time, after a cleaner from a quarantine hotel tested positive for the UK coronavirus variant. The cleaner was unknowingly infectious for days before testing positive.
After the government's announcement on Friday morning, frantic shoppers rushed to the city's supermarkets -- despite authorities announcing that essential shopping would still be allowed under lockdown.
In one shopping mall, a store manager announced over the intercom that the queues were longer than those in March -- the last time the city went into lockdown.
"These lines are huge," he said. "We didn't get any warning about this ... we've now stopped people entering the store."
Within an hour of that announcement, hundreds of people could be seen lining up outside the supermarket. Security guards laid traffic cones to organize the queues, only allowing a few shoppers into the store at a time.
Annastacia Palaszczuk, the premier of Queensland state where Brisbane is located, said groceries and essentials such as medicine would still be available under lockdown.
"There is no need to rush out and panic buy," she said in a tweet. "Make sure you wear a mask and observe social distancing."