Shoppers post images of supermarket shelves stripped bare

Shoppers post images of supermarket shelves ‘stripped bare’ and delivery slots start selling out amid fears of second wave of panic buying

  • Shoppers have posted pictures of supermarket shelves stripped bare on Twitter
  • Fears of a second wave of Covid appear to be fuelling the return of panic buying
  • Kitchen roll, some cereals and other dried foods were seemingly in short supply

There are fears that a second wave of panic buying has already begun as shoppers have shared pictures of supermarket shelves stripped bare this weekend.

Concerned shoppers have taken to Twitter to share photographs of their local supermarkets, showing shelves completely emptied of essential items.

One Twitter user shared photographs of an ASDA in London where cereals seemed in short supply, leaving shoppers with fewer brands to choose from.

Another shopper posted pictures of a Tesco in the West Midlands, where kitchen roll and toilet roll was in short supply – but had not been completely cleared out.

Fears of a second wave of coronavirus appear to be fuelling the return of panic-buying, despite some people pointing out that the ‘supermarkets do stay open’ in the case of another national lockdown.

There are concerns that a second wave of panic buying has already begun as shoppers share photographs of supermarkets with the shelves stripped bare (above, ASDA in London)

One Twitter user shared photographs of an ASDA in London where cereals seemed in short supply (above), leaving shoppers with few brands to choose from

Fears of a second wave of coronavirus appear to be fuelling the return of panic-buying, despite some people pointing out that the ‘supermarkets do stay open’

One person shared pictures on Twitter, writing: ‘This was my local Tesco! People are already panic buying once again! Even though supermarkets do stay open.’ 

An ASDA shopper said: ‘This is our ASDA it’s madness and as you say even though they are staying open.’

And another person predicted that ‘It’s happening again’.

It has led to fears that Britain could return to the days of panic buying that were seen at the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic in March.

Shoppers formed queues outside supermarkets up and down the country from 6am on March 19 and had stripped shelves bare by 9am.

Supermarkets had run out of many essentials in the first few days of the Covid crisis, including hand sanitiser, medicines, toilet roll and dried food.

Panic buying led many supermarkets to ration sales or open early for the elderly to try to make sure that people were not left without supplies during lockdown.

But concerns are now rising about a second national lockdown, with some Government scientists arguing that ‘there is no alternative’.

Shoppers have shared their concern on Twitter about fears of a second wave of coronavirus fuelling the return of panic-buying, which was seen at the beginning of the crisis in March

Delivery slots for supermarkets, including Ocado and Sainsbury’s, are also selling out ‘faster than normal’ as shoppers worry that a second wave of panic buying has already started

Supermarkets delivery slots are also booking up fast as people worry about the return of panic buying, with Ocado and Sainsbury’s warning customers of high demand this week.

The online supermarkets pasted notices on their ‘pick a slot’ page warning customers the sites were experiencing high demand.

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.’  

A notice on Sainsbury’s delivery slots page said: ‘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.’

On Saturday, Tesco was fully booked until Wednesday with an available slots all priced at £5.50 – and there were no available spaces until Monday at Asda.

Toilet roll and kitchen roll was seemingly in shorter supply than normal at a Tesco in the West Midlands, with one shopper sharing pictures of the bare shelves on Twitter (above)

During the first wave of panic buying, shoppers formed queues outside supermarkets from 6am on March 19 and had stripped shelves bare by 9am. Above, ASDA in the North East

During the first national lockdown, Ocado was forced to shut down its website and app on March 18 after being swamped with orders. 

Customers were not be able to book a new delivery or edit existing orders.

The Prime Minister is now threatening to ‘intensify’ coronavirus restrictions as he blames the British public for the rise in cases – despite his repeated pleas for people to return to their desks and eat out at pubs and restaurants in a bid to resuscitate Britain’s economy. 

Government scientists have spooked Boris Johnson with warnings of hundreds of daily coronavirus deaths ‘within weeks’ as they said: ‘There is no alternative to a second national lockdown.’ 

Mr Johnson looks to ditch his Rule of Six and introduce fortnight-long ‘circuit breakers’ nationwide for six months, following claims that it was ‘inevitable’ that a second wave would hit the country last night.  

The new approach to get the UK through winter would see it alternate periods of stricter measures, including bans on all social contact between households and shutting down hospitality and leisure venues like bars and restaurants, with intervals of relaxation. Schools will be shut as a ‘last resort’, a Whitehall source claimed.

A notice on the Sainsbury’s delivery slots page warned ‘slots are still in high demand’ on Friday morning as fears rise over a potential second lockdown

A notice on Ocado’s website 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’

It is understood that the new ‘circuit break’ shutdown could be announced via television press conference on Tuesday, in a move reminiscent of the Government’s behaviour during the peak of the pandemic.  

Visiting the Vaccines Manufacturing Innovation Centre construction site near Oxford, Mr Johnson said: ‘What I can certainly say about parents and schools is we want to keep the schools open, that is going to happen.

‘We want to try and keep all parts of the economy open as far as we possibly can – I don’t think anybody wants to go into a second lockdown but clearly when you look at what is happening, you have got to wonder whether we need to go further than the rule of six that we have brought in on Monday, so we will be looking at the local lockdowns we have got in large parts of the country now, looking at what we can do to intensify things that help bring the rate of infection down there, but also looking at other measures as well.’ 

Officials, including England’s chief medical officer Professor Chris Whitty and chief scientific adviser Sir Patrick Vallance, are thought to be arguing for tough restrictions as panic within official circles grows. 

Yesterday the Government’s original lockdown architect, Professor Neil Ferguson of Imperial College London, recommended ‘rolling back’ freedoms ‘sooner rather than later’ by ‘reducing contact rates between people’.  

Tesco (pictured on Saturday) was fully booked until Wednesday with an available slots all priced at £5.50

The epidemiologist, who was sacked from SAGE for flouting his own lockdown rules, told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme: ‘Right now we’re at about the levels of infections that we were seeing in late February, if we leave it at another two to four weeks we will be back at levels we were seeing more like mid March. 

‘That’s going to clearly cause deaths… I think some additional measures are likely to be needed sooner rather than later, the timing of any more intensive policy, temporary policy, is open to question’. 

But the measures are thought to have been met with protests from Chancellor Rishi Sunak, who has warned against introducing new blanket restrictions by pointing to huge damage already inflicted to the economy.

Government sources claim that Mr Sunak gave ‘sombre warnings’ to the Prime Minister as he highlighted the severity of the damage caused to the UK economy as a result of the March lockdown – while Mr Johnson shrugged off the ‘grim’ economic forecasts, claiming that ‘he was confident it will all be OK in the end’.  

Business leaders echoed the Chancellor’s concerns and warned that a second lockdown would tank the economy, with the British Chambers of Commerce saying: ‘Uncertainty and speculation around future national restrictions will sap business and consumer confidence at a delicate moment for the economy’.   

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