On Sunday evening, the Federal Government announced all non-essential services — including bars, pubs and clubs — would be forced to close their doors in a bid to stop the spread of COVID-19.
The move sparked widespread panic buying of alcohol across the country, as videos emerged online of bottle shops doing a roaring trade.
One video posted to Instagram showed long queues of customers pushing trollies stacked high with slabs or beer.
Stock-up for the lock-up:
"I have seven pallets of wine. Stock-up for the lock-up," one man commented. "It's the new toilet paper," another user posted.
"We were there at 4ish. The checkout girl said that the store had taken over $1 million on the day," another commented.
The surge in demand is being felt from large chain liquor stores, such as BWS and Dan Murphy's down to local, independent bottle shops, despite the fact they're not being made to close.
Co-owner of independent bottle shop Hop Vine & Still Andrew Wilcox said he noticed a jump in customers at his small Hobart store the day after the Government announced a ban on all non-essential services.
"We offer free on-demand delivery and we've seen a massive spike in that," he said.
"Our website has also seen a huge spike in Tasmanian beer sales as well, so that's really encouraging that people are wanting to support their local industry."
Concerns cannabis, cigarette use will increase
With bars, pubs and clubs shut down for at least six months, many are left with no other option than to drink at home and this has health experts worried.
Director of the National Drugs and Alcohol Research Centre Professor Michael Farrell said there was no doubt alcohol consumption would increase, particularly when there was increased pressure at home.
"It's a time of great social anxiety and stress," he said.
"Being in a confined environment, being under stress and maybe having concerns around one's future, financials, security or work — these are all factors that pose considerable risk for vulnerable people.
"People use alcohol to reduce stress, but heavy drinking also results in anxiety, so you get it working in both directions."
But it's not just alcohol people are likely to consume more of during the coronavirus outbreak
Professor Farrell said cigarette and cannabis use would likely also surge as people looked for coping strategies.
"We saw in the Netherlands, a picture on the internet of a huge queue outside a cannabis cafe of people getting their stuff before the lockdown," he said.
He said it was likely we would see similar behaviour in Australia.
"If people are isolated or contained in their apartment, they're more likely to consume more of it," he said.
"People don't have the normal constraints of going to work and maintaining routine, so there's less supervision and more capacity for people to do things they wouldn't normally do."
Before crisis young adults drank less
Social media video-chatting apps such as Houseparty have seen downloads spike in recent weeks as people bunker down in self-isolation.
But Professor Farrell warns while apps like these allow users to feel socially connected to friends as they drink together online, they can also inadvertently encourage alcoholism.
"Before this crisis, younger adults were actually drinking less than before and that's been an international trend and one we don't quite understand," he said.
"But this type of crisis might have an impact on this and see it go in the opposite direction.
"People are removed from the constraints of normal day-to-day work practice."
Make mine a double !! I'll drink to that !