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
Coronavirus - Mon Sep 21, 2020

Meanwhile, a director at the British Retail Consortium (BRC) has urged consumers to be considerate of others and "shop as you normally would" – though he added supply chains are currently "stronger than ever".

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
Coronavirus - Mon Sep 21, 2020

Director of food and sustainability at the BRC, Andrew Opie, said: "Supply chains are stronger than ever before and we do not anticipate any issues in the availability of food or other goods under a future lockdown.

"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.