Sky-high demand for pharmaceutical products like hand sanitiser, vitamin C sachets and face masks has resulted in supply issues for one major online chemist.

Due to Covid-19, online chemist website Pharmacy Direct had issues getting orders out on time due to higher-than-normal demand.

The number of phone calls and emails had also skyrocketed, with the retailer alerting customers it would get back to queries as soon as possible.

"We thank you in advance for your understanding and patience," Pharmacy Direct said in an email to customers on Monday.


"If our website says out of stock, then we do not have any at the moment. We do not know when more will be available as it is out of stock with the suppliers."

Quantity restrictions would be put in place when stock arrived to ensure an even chance of everyone having the chance to buy them.

Elsewhere, a pharmacist in West Auckland, who asked not to be named, reiterated high demand was resulting in supply issues.

"Generally speaking, there has been an issue with supply chains with some items," he said.

"I can't say specifically but [pharmacies] are experiencing supply chain issues."

The impact of the coronavirus had been far-reaching, with Italy extending travel restrictions across the entire country this morning NZ time.

Some 60 million people were now in lockdown following an unprecedented move to contain Covid-19.

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Italy's Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte said the restrictions will take effect on Tuesday and, like those in northern Italy, will last until April 3.

The move indicates that Italian policymakers have come to believe that hard-line measures were the best way slow the virus.

Elsewhere, the price of oil plunged yesterday and had resulted in fuel stations throughout New Zealand reducing the price of fuel.

This morning, Z Energy and Caltex dropped the price of fuel by seven cents a litre, following a drop of six cents per litre yesterday.

"Yesterday, we put our prices down by up to 6c per litre across 90 per cent of our sites," Z Energy said in a statement this morning.

"This morning, we've responded by putting down prices a further 7 cents per litre across our entire network."