Panic-buying recommences in supermarkets as second lockdown speculation mounts

Scenes similar to the start of lockdown were spotted at some supermarkets on Monday.

Panic-buying recommences in supermarkets as second lockdown speculation mounts

Panic-buying customers have begun stockpiling toilet roll and food at some supermarkets, following suggestions of an incoming second lockdown.

Reduced-price food aisles and hygiene sections at some stores were left depleted in scenes familiar to March and early April, after the Government warned of rising coronavirus cases across the UK.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson will update MPs on the Covid-19 situation on Tuesday, amid mounting expectation that he will announce new measures to curb the spread of the virus.

Coronavirus – Mon Sep 21, 2020
Depleted stocks and empty pallets in the toilet roll aisle at the Portsmouth North Harbour Tesco on Monday (Steve Parsons/PA)

Despite scenes at some stores, supermarket giants Tesco, Asda, Sainsbury’s, Lidl and Aldi told PA they had “good availability” on Monday and have not experienced any shortages yet.

Tesco added its online capacity had almost doubled from 600,000 weekly delivery slots in March, to 1.5 million in September.

Coronavirus – Mon Sep 21, 2020
Empty shelves in the reduced to clear aisle at the Portsmouth North Harbour Tesco on Monday (Steve Parsons/PA)

“Nonetheless, we urge consumers to be considerate of others and shop as they normally would.”

He added that retailers have done an “excellent job” making sure customers have access to food throughout the pandemic, while installing perspex screens and other social distancing measures.

“As such, retail remains a safe space for consumers, even under future lockdowns,” he said.

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