Coronavirus: "Be responsible," urges Government amid supermarket panic buying

Shoppers have been urged to be responsible by the Government amid scenes of panic buying at UK supermarkets as the coronavirus crisis deepens.

Saturday, 21st March 2020, 2:22 pm
Updated Saturday, 21st March 2020, 2:23 pm

In its daily briefing on the COVID-19 pandemic, the Government has said that everybody in the UK needs to play their part and shop responsibly.

Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Secretary George Eustice said: “Be responsible when you shop.

"Buying more than you need means that others may be left without.”

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Shoppers have been told not to panic buy.

"As you shop think of those who are finishing their late shifts and need to pop to their local shops."

"We need every citizen in this country to play their part too."

He said everyone must respect rationing measures in place in some stores and respect food shop workers.

He added: “We all have a role to play to get through the crisis together.”

Mr Eustice said that government measures such as ending restrictions on deliveries would be halted and said that supermarkets are taking on more staff to ensure shelves are stocked.

Helen Dickinson of the British Retail Consortium says there has been a whole list of issues raised with government which have been quickly solved - including restrictions on food delivery times.

She adds that the PM Boris Johnson wants to underline the message for everyone to be considerate in what they buy - and to think about others in the community.

In recent weeks, supermarket shelves across the country have been stripped of produce, with fresh fruit and vegetables, meat, pasta, paracetamol, toilet rolls, tinned and frozen foods among the products targeted by shoppers.

Last night, many supermarkets reported a rush for beer, wine and spirits after Boris Johnson announced that pubs, restaurants and cafes had been ordered to shut.

Many of the big supermarkets have introduced special shopping hours for elderly and more vulnerable customers, while many stores have limited shoppers to the amount of products they can buy.

Tesco and Asda are also closing 24 hour stores earlier to allow shevles to be restocked.