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Woolworths and Coles urge customers to buy only what they need

Woolworths has reinstated product limits due to a higher demand for items such as painkillers.

On January 13 the supermarket giant imposed a limit of two packs per customer of analgesic products, and toilet paper, nationwide both in-store and online.

Woolworths stated it was a precautionary move following recent food and grocery supply chain constraints and pockets of increased demand across select categories.

The limits will ensure more customers have fair access.

Woolworths has had purchase limits on rapid antigen kits since it first began selling the products last year. In line with guidelines from the Federal Government, customers are limited to one pack per purchase (these packs can contain one through to seven testing kits).

"We understand this is an anxious time for our customers," Woolworths Director of Stores Jeanette Fenske said.

"We will continue to closely monitor product availability across our stores, with stock continuing to be sent to stores daily. Customers will notice some gaps on shelves but we're doing all that we can to meet demand.

"We encourage everyone to be mindful of others in the community and to continue shopping in reasonable quantities.

"We would like to thank our customers for their patience and understanding, and ask them to continue to show kindness to our teams who are doing everything they can to support them during this challenging time."

Woolworths is continuing to see supply chain challenges affect stock levels because of COVID-19 and high rates of staff absences.

Coles has also imposed temporary pack limits on selected product categories.

Some medicinal items (paracetamol, ibuprofen, aspirin) are limited at two units per customer.

Limits also apply for toilet paper (one unit per customer), two packs of chicken breasts and thighs from the meat department (six fillets from the deli), two packs of mince, two packs of sausages, and one pack of rapid antigen kits.

But shoppers say finding any testing kits or even fruit, vegetables or meat especially in the later part of the day, is proving to be difficult.

On the COVID-19 Sutherland Shire Facebook group, people are sharing their shopping experiences.

"I end up going to the fruit and veg shop, there is heaps there," one user posted.

"I got Click and Collect and half my order was unavailable," another posted.

Most shoppers said they had no trouble getting stock early in the morning.