New South Wales residents thrust into panic-buying as COVID-19 lockdown takes effect

The news of a statewide lockdown sent New South Wales into panic, as people flooded into supermarkets to buy up supplies.

From 5pm on Saturday (local time) every region of NSW was under a lockdown - but supermarkets and grocery stores will remain open. However, as has been the case in previous lockdowns across Australia and New Zealand, people took little notice of authorities pleading for calm.

Instead, they flocked to supermarkets to pack trolleys and clear shelves - despite reassurances from the government that there was no need to panic-buy.

"Please remember, supermarkets will remain open," said Nationals MP Melinda Pavey.

"People will be able to get groceries as per usual throughout the week. There is absolutely no need to panic buy, stock-up or rush to the stores."

Footage from supermarkets across the state showed social distancing out the window as people packed in, with lines at every register. 

The state recorded 466 new COVID-19 cases on Saturday and four more deaths. 

Of the new cases, just 121 are linked to a known cluster.

The four deaths were a man in his 70s from southwestern Sydney, a man in his 80s also from southwestern Sydney, a woman in her 40s from northern Sydney and a woman in her 70s from the southwest. Forty-three people have now died in the current outbreak, which began almost two months ago.