Eased lockdown restrictions in Sydney lead to colossal Kmart queues

As the clock struck midnight and lockdown restrictions were eased, Sydneysiders headed for the holy grail of bargain retail – Kmart. 

After nearly four months of hard lockdowns and COVID restrictions, photos and videos emerged overnight featuring dozens of fully vaccinated shoppers queuing up at 24 hour Kmart stores.

Bargain hunters were clearly eager to resume their shopping, as the line stretched 100 metres from the entrance and into the car park of a western Sydney Kmart store.

Image: Brendan Terrett/FB (in Yahoo News)

Footage reveals people rushing around the store, grabbing items and stuffing them in their trolleys.

Since the footage went viral, people have expressed criticism towards the actions. One TikTok user vented: “Next minute, 483 new cases linked to local Kmart,”.

Across the city, clubs threw open their doors and welcomed members inside for late-night happy hour to celebrate.

Canterbury League Club saw similar scenes to the Kmart queue-up as a large crowd gathered to grab a schooner and socialise for the first time in months.

In the CBD, City Tattersalls Club marked the 12:01 am countdown with a champagne shower at the front entrance, as cheers rang from a small crowd waiting to enter.

The celebrations are well-earned by Sydneysiders who have been under stay-at-home orders since lockdown was announced June 26. After a huge vaccination effort by NSW residents, the state achieved the 70 per cent fully vaccinated milestone early last week.

In accordance with the state’s roadmap out of lockdown, fully vaccinated people will now move towards life as normal.

Pubs, restaurants and cafes can open with limited capacity (one person per-4m squared indoors, or per-2m squared outdoors), while hair salons and tattoo parlors will open with a maximum limit of 5 people on the premises.

Ten fully-vaxxed visitors will be allowed inside a home and up to thirty can gather outdoors, not including children under 12.

The attendance cap for weddings and funerals will increase dramatically to 100 fully-vaxxed attendees. With a special exemption, weddings will be the first allowed to have dancing indoors. However, businesses will need to wait until the 80 per cent milestone to have a boogie.

State Premier Dominic Perrottet encouraged Sydneysiders to be cautious as restrictions ease:

“We want to make sure that we don’t go backwards. There are obviously rules still in place as we stage the opening up. People need to be patient as well because there will be challenges as we go through this period.”

Business owners will be responsible for enforcing restrictions, checking vaccination status and making sure patrons check-in using the QR code system.

To make sure no one cops a fine (and to avoid embarrassment), have your proof of vaccination certificate ready to go before you head out for a beer or a haircut – or both!