Woolworths starts selling face masks in Victoria
Woolies group stores also supplying face masks for customers in the state.
Supermarket giant Woolworths will start selling face masks in Victoria following the introduction of compulsory face mask regulations in Melbourne and Mitchell Shire.
"To help provide access to masks for as many customers as possible, we are sending tens of thousands of boxes of masks to Victorian Woolworths stores for customers to buy," Woolworths CEO Brad Banducci wrote in an email to customers.
"We will prioritise hotspot areas, with stock arriving in time for the weekend and a limit of one box per customer."
Face mask orders have increased dramatically since the Victorian regulations came in, although local suppliers say there shouldn't be a long-term shortage.
Woolworths also says it will have limited supplies of free masks for customers without one who visit any of its stores in the affected areas.
"Up until Sunday evening, if you arrive at one of our stores (including BIG W, Dan Murphy's and BWS) without a face covering, we will provide you with one face mask free-of-charge," Banducci wrote.
Any customer who showed up at a store without a mask would technically be in breach of the mandatory face mask rule, which requires a mask whenever someone is outside the house for "essential shopping".
"In line with the Victorian Government directive, we expect customers to wear a face covering when they come into any of our stores in Melbourne and Mitchell Shire," Banducci said.
Victoria is the only state to have introduced mandatory mask rules in Australia so far, though there's widespread speculation that similar rules could be imposed soon in parts of New South Wales.
Prices for masks have risen from some retailers as demand has peaked, with a Finder analysis finding the average price is around $23 for a reusable cloth mask.
Want more help with masks? Check out our overview of face masks, how to choose the best one, what doctors recommend when using them, the rules that apply in Australia and our regularly-updated guide on where to buy reusable masks.