Panic buying returns to UK supermarkets as fears grow over second lockdown

Panic buying has returned to a number of supermarkets across the UK as fears grow over a second lockdown.

By Darren Burke
Monday, 21st September 2020, 10:39 am

Shoppers have reported gaps on some of the town’s supermarket shelves once more with Prime Minister Boris Johnson expected to announce a tightening of coronavirus restrictions tomorrow as cases of Covid-19 increase rapidly across Britain.

Ministers are keen to avoid a second lockdown on the scale imposed in March, but health chiefs have said the UK stands at a ‘critical point’ in the fight against coronavirus and swift action needs to be taken to prevent the situation spiralling out of control.

Back in March, worried shoppers stripped supermarket shelves of toilet rolls, pasta, hand sanitiser, tinned food and dozens more items as terrified Brits stockpiled food ahead of the nationwide shutdown.

Empty shelves in the toilet roll aisle at Asda at Lakeside in Doncaster. (Photo: Shaun Whitaker).

Across the weekend, shoppers reported gaps and some items running low as people once again started stocking up.

There were empty spaces in the toilet roll aisle at the Asda branch in Lakeside, while shoppers at Morrisons in York Road also reported a run on supplies of pasta and pasta sauces.

Coffee and tea was in short supply at the Edenthorpe Sainsbury’s branch, according to another shopper.

Meanwhile, supermarkets have warned customers that delivery slots are getting booked up quickly.

Ocado and Sainsbury’s edited their ‘pick a delivery slot’ webpages to include alerts that they were experiencing high demands.

Ocado’s read: ‘Delivery slots are selling out faster than usual. If you can’t find a slot now, please use the “Next 3 days” button to see available slots further in advance.’

Sainsbury’s message read: ‘Slots are still in high demand. We have been working hard to expand our service. More slots are now available and we are able to offer some of them to other customers.

‘Customers who are vulnerable will get priority access and are able to book slots in advance of anyone else. We’re releasing new slots regularly so please check back if you can’t see any available.’

Similarly Tesco’s slots were all fully booked until Wednesday with any available slots costing at least £5.50.

It comes after the Prime Minister said the UK was experiencing a second wave of coronavirus. Short ‘circuit breaker’ lockdowns with curfews and banning households socialising are being considered as ways of reducing the number of Covid infections.