Shoppers have been spotted cramming their trolleys with toilet roll, despite supermarkets saying they are ‘stronger than ever’ amid a second coronavirus lockdown.
Back in spring we watched people panic buying essential items such as toilet roll and hand sanitiser, leaving many faced with empty shelves.
Now, with cases in England currently doubling every week, some fear a second lockdown could be a possibility as Prime Minister Boris Johnson implemented tighter restrictions earlier today (22 September).
Photographs have emerged of some shoppers beginning to stockpile essential items once again. However, supermarkets have already assured people that they do not need to worry about getting their hands on supplies.
Andrew Opie, Director of Food and Sustainability at the British Retail Consortium, urged the public to continue shopping as they normally would, safe in the knowledge we are well-prepared for any future lockdowns.
Despite this people have still been spotted lugging multipack toilet rolls in to their cars while some supermarket shelves have been left bare.
Mr Opie said: “Retailers have done an excellent job in ensuring customers have access to food and necessities throughout this pandemic.
“Since March, retail businesses have strengthened their supply chains as well as investing hundreds of millions to make stores safe and secure for customers; this includes perspex screens, social distancing measures and additional hygiene measures. As such, retail remains a safe space for consumers, even under future lockdowns.
“Supply chains are stronger than ever before and we do not anticipate any issues in the availability of food or other goods under any future lockdown. Nonetheless, we urge consumers to be considerate of others and shop as they normally would.”
Reassuringly, Asda told LADbible it has ‘great availability’ in store and online, while Tesco too is not experiencing any shortages and has more than doubled its online capacity from around 600,000 weekly slots at the start of the crisis to 1.5 million now.
Aldi and Sainsbury’s also continue to have ‘good availability’.
A spokesperson for the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) told LADbible: “The UK has a highly resilient food supply chain. We continue to work closely with food retailers and the food industry as we have done throughout the response to the coronavirus pandemic. They are operating normally and as expected.”
Earlier today Boris Johnson announced that as of Monday (28 September), only 15 people will be allowed to attend weddings and wedding receptions, as well as applying the ‘rule of six’ to indoor team sports.
He added that funerals will still be capped at 30 people, but also outlined that fines for failing to wear a mask without an exemption or breaking the rule of six will now be doubled to £200 for a first offence.
On top of this pubs, bars and restaurants will be closing at 10pm and businesses that break the rules regarding table service, or any other breaches, will face a fine of £10,000 – the same as the fine for refusing to quarantine.