A rationing scheme is needed to see the country through the coronavirus pandemic, a food policy expert has said.
Professor Tim Lang has written to the Prime Minister "out of immediate concern about the emerging food crisis" and in the letter described public messaging about food supply as "weak and unconvincing".
He also criticised the Government for "blaming" consumers who are going out to buy groceries to last a few days.
Coronavirus across the globe
Coronavirus across the globe
NEW YORK CITY, NY - MARCH 29: The Oculus transportation hub and mall stands nearly deserted in lower Manhattan on March 29, 2020 in New York City. Across the country schools, businesses and places of work have either been shut down or are restricting hours of operation as health officials try to slow the spread of COVID-19. (Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images)
28 March 2022, Berlin: A family goes for a walk in Friedenau. All family members wear colorful masks as protection against the coronavirus. The masks were sewn by a friend of the family herself. Photo: Wolfram Steinberg/dpa (Photo by Wolfram Steinberg/picture alliance via Getty Images)
MOUNT JULIET, TN - MARCH 29: Aerial view as Pastor Greg Locke of Global Vision Bible Church holds services in the church parking lot on March 29, 2020 in Mount Juliet, Tennessee. Gov. Bill Lee signed an executive order that prohibits social gatherings of 10 or more in response to coronavirus (COVID-19), which is also recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (Photo by Brett Carlsen/Getty Images)
MOSCOW, RUSSIA - MARCH 29, 2020: An officer of the Mospriroda environmental agency in a face mask uses a megaphone to remind visitors about social distancing rules, at the entrance to the Serebryany Bor forest park in a north-west suburb of Moscow. The Russian government has announced a paid week off work (30 March to 3 April) for employed people and school holidays (21 March - 12 April), while Moscow's authorities have ordered the shutdown of restaurants, leisure facilities and other service industry businesses and urged Muscovites to self-isolate to counter the spread of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19). Forest parks remain open but the public are warned to observe social distancing rules. Sergei Karpukhin/TASS (Photo by Sergei Karpukhin\TASS via Getty Images)
CORSO VITTORIO EMANUELE II, MILAN, ITALY - 2020/03/29: General view shows almost deserted corso Vittorio Emanuele II. The Italian government imposed unprecedented restrictions to halt the spread of COVID-19 coronavirus outbreak, among other measures people movements are allowed only for work, for buying essential goods and for health reasons. (Photo by Nicolò Campo/LightRocket via Getty Images)
TEL AVIV, ISRAEL - MARCH 29: General view of an almost empty Beach in Tel Aviv on March 29, 2020 in Tel Aviv, Israel. The Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic has spread to many countries across the world, claiming over 30,000 lives and infecting hundreds of thousands more. (Photo by Guy Prives/Getty Images)
MOSCOW, RUSSIA - MARCH 29, 2020: A young couple in face masks stroll in the Serebryany Bor forest park in a north-west suburb of Moscow. The Russian government has announced a paid week off work (30 March to 3 April) for employed people and school holidays (21 March - 12 April), while Moscow's authorities have ordered the shutdown of restaurants, leisure facilities and other service industry businesses and urged Muscovites to self-isolate to counter the spread of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19). Forest parks remain open but the public are warned to observe social distancing rules. Sergei Karpukhin/TASS (Photo by Sergei Karpukhin\TASS via Getty Images)
Migrant workers and their families coming from Delhi, get inside an overloaded bus to reach their hometown and villages during government imposed nationwide lockdown as a preventive measure against COVID-19 coronavirus in Allahabad on March 29, 2020. (Photo by Ritesh Shukla/NurPhoto via Getty Images)
An Ultra-Orthodox Jewish man walks next to a billboard with instructions, on how to properly sneeze, in Jerusalem on March 29, 2020, amid measures to stem the spread of the novel coronavirus. - Israel has 3,865 confirmed cases of COVID-19, with another 99 in the occupied Palestinian territories and tens of thousands in self-isolation. (Photo by Ahmad GHARABLI / AFP) (Photo by AHMAD GHARABLI/AFP via Getty Images)
28 March 2020, Bavaria, Munich: The Königsplatz in front of the Propyläen is almost deserted. Photo: Sven Hoppe/dpa (Photo by Sven Hoppe/picture alliance via Getty Images)
LIVORNO, ITALY - MARCH 28: People attend afternoon mass whilst respecting social distancing in the ancient Church of the Madonna on March 28, 2020 in Livorno, Italy. In Italy liturgical celebrations are not prohibited and can take place with a restricted number of people necessary for the officiation of the rite and through respect for the appropriate distances and cautions. The Italian government continues to enforce the nationwide lockdown measures to control the spread of COVID-19. The number of confirmed Covid-19 cases in Italy has passed 92,470 with the death toll rising to over 10,000. (Photo by Laura Lezza/Getty Images)
MOSCOW, RUSSIA - MARCH 28: A shopping area is closed as a preventive measure against the new type of coronavirus (COVID-19) in Moscow, Russia on March 28, 2020. Parks, entertainment venues, restaurants and public places will be closed up between March 28 - April 5 in Moscow. (Photo by Sefa Karacan/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images)
SERIATE, ITALY - MARCH 28: Military personnel make preparations before leaving the church of San Giuseppe to carry coffins of coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic victims to crematorium in Seriate, Italy on March 28, 2020. (Photo by Pier Marco Tacca/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images)
TORONTO, ON- MARCH 28 - Prime Minister Trudeau announced that passengers with any symptoms of COVOD-19 will not be allowed to board domestic flights or trains as only essential industries are open as the province shut down non-essential services and industries to help slow the spread of COVID-19 in Toronto. March 28, 2020. (Steve Russell/Toronto Star via Getty Images)
PARIS, FRANCE - MARCH 27: The message "Merci" (thank you) in tribute of those on the frontline to fight the coronavirus disease, is seen on the Eiffel Tower at night during the Coronavirus epidemic (CODIV 19) on March 27, 2020 in Paris, France. French Prime Minister Edouard Philippe announced today the extension of the confinement of the French until April 15, 2020.The country has introduced fines for people caught violating its nationwide lockdown measures intended to stop the spread of COVID-19. The pandemic has spread to at least 182 countries, claiming over 10,000 lives and infecting hundreds of thousands more. (Photo by Chesnot/Getty Images)
SAO PAULO, BRAZIL - MARCH 27: General view of an emergency makeshift field hospital as it is set up at Pacaembu Stadium for coronavirus (COVID-19) patients with a capacity of 200 beds on March 27, 2020 in Sao Paulo, Brazil. According to the Ministry of health, as of today, Brazil has 2.915 confirmed cases of the coronavirus (COVID-19) and at least 77 recorded deceases. (Photo by Miguel Schincariol/Getty Images)
DALLAS, TEXAS - MARCH 27: In this photo illustration, a postcard mailing outlining coronavirus guidelines from the White House and the Center for Disease Control and Prevention on March 27, 2020 in Dallas, Texas. The United States currently has over 1,300 deaths due to COVID-19. (Photo illustration by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)
KIEV, UKRAINE - MARCH 27, 2020: Russian citizens boarding a train at Central Railway Station. Russia and Ukraine have agreed a deal to briefly resume train connection between the two countries to repatriate their citizens in connection with the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic. A special train with Russian citizens will leave Kiev on 27 March and arrive in Moscow on the next day. On its return journey, the train will take Ukrainian citizens to Kiev. Anna Marchenko/TASS (Photo by Anna Marchenko\TASS via Getty Images)
PITTSBURGH, PA - MARCH 27: Jets are parked on runway 28 at the Pittsburgh International Airport on March 27, 2020 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Due to decreased flights as a result of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, close to 70 American Airlines planes are being stacked and parked at the airport. (Photo by Jeff Swensen/Getty Images)
An employee of the Ministry of Public Works fumigates a street amid the COVID-19 outbreak in Santo Domingo on March 27, 2020. (Photo by Erika SANTELICES / AFP) (Photo by ERIKA SANTELICES/afp/AFP via Getty Images)
WASHINGTON, DC - MARCH 27: Streets and plazas are empty in the Chinatown neighborhood as people stay home and non-essential businesses are ordered closed due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic March 27, 2020 in Washington, DC. The United States surpassed China and Italy as the country with the most coronavirus cases with more than 97,000 people confirmed and more than 1,000 people having died from COVID-19. (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)
Security forces arrest a man for operating a restaurant serving food to customers eating on the premises, which has been prohibited and only takeaways are allowed under measures aimed at halting the spread of the new coronavirus, in Nairobi, Kenya Friday, March 27, 2020. The new coronavirus causes mild or moderate symptoms for most people, but for some, especially older adults and people with existing health problems, it can cause more severe illness or death. (AP Photo/Brian Inganga)
Impoverished Indians stand in a queue to receive free food in Hyderabad, India, Friday, March 27, 2020. Some of India's legions of poor and others suddenly thrown out of work by a nationwide stay-at-home order began receiving aid on Thursday, as both public and private groups worked to blunt the impact of efforts to curb the coronavirus pandemic. The measures that went into effect Wednesday, the largest of their kind in the world, risk heaping further hardship on the quarter of the population who live below the poverty line and the 1.8 million who are homeless. (AP Photo/Mahesh Kumar A.)
People line up to buy supplies in a shop during the coronavirus outbreak in Barcelona, Spain, Friday, March 27, 2020. The new coronavirus causes mild or moderate symptoms for most people, but for some, especially older adults and people with existing health problems, it can cause more severe illness or death. (AP Photo/Emilio Morenatti)
Residents of the densely populated Hillbrow neighborhood of downtown Johannesburg, confined in an attempt to prevent the spread coronavirus, stand and wave from their balconies, Friday, March 27, 2020. South Africa went into a nationwide lockdown for 21 days in an effort to mitigate the spread to the coronavirus. The new coronavirus causes mild or moderate symptoms for most people, but for some, especially older adults and people with existing health problems, it can cause more severe illness or death. (AP Photo/Jerome Delay)
Volunteers with the Red Cross sort homemade face masks meant to be sterilized and distributed among people in need in Prague, Czech Republic, Friday, March 27, 2020. In Czech Republic it is mandatory that all people must cover their mouths and noses in public to stem the spread of the novel coronavirus called COVID-19. Improvised methods such as a scarf or homemade mask are allowed.The new coronavirus causes mild or moderate symptoms for most people, but for some, especially older adults and people with existing health problems, it can cause more severe illness or death. (AP Photo/Petr David Josek)
ANKARA, TURKEY - MARCH 26: Workers wearing face masks make production of face masks with the instructions of Turkish National Defense Minister Hulusi Akar at the factories and sewing workshops linked to the ministry to battle novel coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic in Ankara, Turkey on March 26, 2020. (Photo by Mustafa Murat Kaynak/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images)
Customers queue between social distancing markers on the pavement outside a supermarket in Westminster, London after Prime Minister Boris Johnson put the UK in lockdown to help curb the spread of the coronavirus. (Photo by Victoria Jones/PA Images via Getty Images)
A man wearing a protective face masks shops at the partly closed Jerusalem's Mahane Yehuda Market on March 26, 2020, after Israel has imposed tight restrictions to contain the COVID-19 coronavirus disease, in Jerusalem. (Photo by MENAHEM KAHANA / AFP) (Photo by MENAHEM KAHANA/AFP via Getty Images)
A municipal worker disinfects a street in front of the Parliament as a measure against the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic in Bishkek on March 26, 2020. (Photo by Vyacheslav OSELEDKO / AFP) (Photo by VYACHESLAV OSELEDKO/AFP via Getty Images)
Workers using heavy equipment lift medical equipment to be used for Corona Special Hospital (COVID-19) at Hang Nadim Airport in Batam, Riau Islands, , on March 12, 2020.. A number of medical devices for the Corona Special Hospital on Galang Island which were transported by the TNI Air Force Squadron 31 type A-1317 Halim Perdanakusuma
(Photo by Teguh Prihatna/NurPhoto via Getty Images)
MADRID, SPAIN - MARCH 26: A man wearing a protective mask stands next to a car with a trunk full of flowers that the Madrina Foundation sends as a gift to the health workers and to decorate the field hospital at IFEMA, where people infected with coronavirus from other centres in the Community of Madrid are treated on March 26, 2020 in Madrid, Spain. (Photo by Eduardo Parra/Europa Press via Getty Images)
Indonesian bride Irra Chorina Octora and her Turkish partner Yavuz Ozdemir, wearing face masks amid concerns of the COVID-19 coronavirus, attend their wedding ceremony in Surabaya on March 25, 2020. (Photo by Juni Kriswanto / AFP) (Photo by JUNI KRISWANTO/AFP via Getty Images)
Pigeons gather on a place near a deserted road during the first day of a 21-day government-imposed nationwide lockdown as a preventive measure against the COVID-19 coronavirus, in Hyderabad on March 25, 2020. (Photo by Noah SEELAM / AFP) (Photo by NOAH SEELAM/AFP via Getty Images)
People stand on designated areas to maintain social distancing as they queue outside a medical store during the first day of a 21-day government-imposed nationwide lockdown as a preventive measure against the COVID-19 coronavirus in Allahabad on March 25, 2020. (Photo by SANJAY KANOJIA / AFP) (Photo by SANJAY KANOJIA/AFP via Getty Images)
EDITORS NOTE: Graphic content / Members of the Syrian Civil Defence, also known as the "White Helmets", prepare to disinfect a school where displaced Syrians are sheltered in the town of Maaret Misrin in Syria's northwestern Idlib province on March 25, 2020 as part of efforts to prevent the spread of coronavirus. (Photo by Ahmad al-ATRASH / AFP) (Photo by AHMAD AL-ATRASH/AFP via Getty Images)
A man walks in Canary Wharf, London during rush hour, after Prime Minister Boris Johnson has put the UK in lockdown to help curb the spread of the coronavirus.
People on bikes ride along a deserted road during the first day of a 21-day government-imposed nationwide lockdown as a preventive measure against the COVID-19 coronavirus, in Chennai on March 25, 2020. - India's billion-plus population went into a three-week lockdown on March 25, with a third of the world now under orders to stay indoors, as the coronavirus pandemic forced Japan to postpone the Olympics until next year. (Photo by Arun SANKAR / AFP) (Photo by ARUN SANKAR/AFP via Getty Images)
A man holding a Japan national flag with 'supporting the world' written on it. 'Flame of Recovery' special exhibition at Aquamarine Park after Tokyo Olympic and Paralympic Games 2020 are announced to be postpone due to coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. (Photo by Viola Kam / SOPA Images/Sipa USA)
Brisbane Airport departures gate is pictured empty. Australia and many countries are shutting borders after Covid-19 spread rapidly. (Photo by Florent Rols / SOPA Images/Sipa USA)
25 March 2020, Saarland, Saarbrücken: A doctor takes a smear test at the drive-in test station organized by the German Armed Forces in a hall of the former Saarbrücken Trade Fair Centre. People who have a referral can come on foot or by car to have swabs taken for the test for the corona virus. Photo: Oliver Dietze/dpa (Photo by Oliver Dietze/picture alliance via Getty Images)
25 March 2020, Lower Saxony, Hanover: A bench at the Maschsee is closed to passers-by with police tape. Photo: Julian Stratenschulte/dpa (Photo by Julian Stratenschulte/picture alliance via Getty Images)
A greengrocer disinfects a customer's hands and give her gloves as she arrives in his shop, on March 24, 2020 in Brussels, as the country is under lockdown to stop the spread of Covid-19 disease caused by the novel coronavirus. (Photo by François WALSCHAERTS / AFP) (Photo by FRANCOIS WALSCHAERTS/AFP via Getty Images)
A girl with her father cross an empty road during a government-imposed lockdown as a preventive measure against the COVID-19 coronavirus, in Allahabad on March 24, 2020. (Photo by SANJAY KANOJIA / AFP) (Photo by SANJAY KANOJIA/AFP via Getty Images)
MINSK, BELARUS - MARCH 24, 2020: Teachers Yekaterina Metelskaya (L) and Anastasia Studentsova give an online lesson via video link with first-grade pupils as the Stembridge Private School switches to distance learning amid the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. Natalia Fedosenko/TASS (Photo by Natalia Fedosenko\TASS via Getty Images)
GLASGOW, SCOTLAND - MARCH 24: A man walks down Buchanan Street as the country goes into lockdown on March 24, 2020 in Glasgow, Scotland. First Minister of Scotland Nicola Sturgeon along with British Prime Minister, Boris Johnson, announced strict lockdown measures last night urging people to stay at home and only leave the house for basic food shopping, exercise once a day and essential travel to and from work. The Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic has spread to at least 182 countries, claiming over 10,000 lives and infecting hundreds of thousands more. (Photo by Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images)
Skegness pier is closed, the day after Prime Minister Boris Johnson put the UK in lockdown to help curb the spread of the coronavirus. (Photo by Mike Egerton/PA Images via Getty Images)
Cars crowd the Second Ring Road in Beijing as traffic gets back to normal amid the ongoing COVID-19 coronavirus outbreak on March 24, 2020. - China reported 78 new cases of the deadly coronavirus on March 24, with the vast majority brought in from overseas as fears rise of a second wave of infections. (Photo by GREG BAKER / AFP) (Photo by GREG BAKER/AFP via Getty Images)
Medical workers stretch a patient from an Italian Red Cross ambulance into an intensive care unit set up in a sports center outside the San Raffaele hospital in Milan, during the COVID-19 new coronavirus pandemic. (Photo by Miguel MEDINA / AFP) (Photo by MIGUEL MEDINA/AFP via Getty Images)
The empty public transport station "Bahnhof Friedrichstrasse" is seen as the spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) continues, in Berlin, Germany, March 23, 2020. REUTERS/Fabrizio Bensch
Want a coronavirus test? If you have money and know the right doctor, not a problem
A picture shows intensive care units with respiratory aid machines set up under a tent at a military field hospital at the Emile Muller Hospital in Mulhouse, eastern France, on March 22, 2020, on the seventh day of a lockdown aimed at curbing the spread of the COVID-19 (novel coronavirus) in France. (Photo by PATRICK HERTZOG / AFP) (Photo by PATRICK HERTZOG/AFP via Getty Images)
LEEDS, - MARCH 23: A children's playground lays dormant as Leeds City Council temporarily closes all of it's playgrounds though parks will still remain open for recreation, on March 23, 2020 in Leeds, United Kingdom. Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic has spread to at least 182 countries, claiming over 10,000 lives and infecting hundreds of thousands more across the globe. (Photo by Christopher Furlong/Getty Images)
TOPSHOT - A man wearing a face mask, amid concerns of the COVID-19 coronavirus, walks along a street in Moscow on March 23, 2020. (Photo by Yuri KADOBNOV / AFP) (Photo by YURI KADOBNOV/AFP via Getty Images)
A passenger walks with the luggage, as Italy tightens measures to try and contain the spread of coronavirus disease (COVID-19), at Rome's Termini train station, Italy March 23, 2020. REUTERS/Alberto Lingria
French rescue team wearing protective suits evacuate a patient from Mulhouse hospital as France faces an aggressive progression of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19), March 23, 2020. REUTERS/Christian Hartmann
Tube tests are pictured pictured as media visit the Microbiology Laboratory of the University Hospital (CHUV) during the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak in Lausanne, Switzerland, March 23, 2020. REUTERS/Denis Balibouse
PARIS, FRANCE - MARCH 21: Policemen patrol with motorcycles at the Trocadero Square as the Eiffel Tower is seen in the background following the lockdown due to the coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic in Paris, France on March 21, 2020. The death toll from the coronavirus in France hit 450, with 78 deaths in the last 24 hours, according to health authorities Friday. (Photo by Julien Mattia/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images)
SYDNEY, March 21, 2020 -- Photo taken on March 21, 2020 shows the Bondi Beach closure notice in Sydney, Australia. Australia's iconic Bondi Beach was closed after hundreds of beachgoers crowded on the sand on Friday ignoring the ongoing social distancing guidelines.
Police Minister of the State of New South Wales David Elliott ordered the beach in Sydney to be shut down on Saturday afternoon.
There have been 874 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Australia as of 6:30 a.m. local time Saturday, among which there are 382 in the State of New South Wales. Seven people have died from the disease.(photo by Bai Xuefei/Xinhua via Getty) (Xinhua/Bai Xuefei via Getty Images)
A staff checks temperature of a kid, amid concerns of the COVID-19 coronavirus, at Yangon central railway station in Yangon on March 21, 2020. (Photo by Shwe Paw Mya Tin/NurPhoto via Getty Images)
Aerial view of San Ysidro port of entry at the Mexico-US border as seen from Tijuana, Baja California state, Mexico, on March 21, 2020. - The United States and Mexico have agreed to restrict non-essential travel across their border because of the coronavirus outbreak, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said Friday. US President Donald Trump said the move, similar to one already announced with northern neighbor Canada, was necessary to prevent the "spread the infection to our border agents, migrants, and to the public at large." (Photo by Guillermo Arias / AFP) (Photo by GUILLERMO ARIAS/AFP via Getty Images)
Staff at work at the Samaritan's Purse field hospital that is being set up in Cremona, Italy, Saturday, March 21, 2020. A Christian evangelical group headed by the son of the late televangelist Billy Graham has sent a field hospital to northern Italy to tend to coronavirus patients, joining China in offering aid to Italy's overwhelmed health care system. For most people, the new coronavirus causes only mild or moderate symptoms. For some it can cause more severe illness, especially in older adults and people with existing health problems. (AP Photo/Antonio Calanni)
A police officer checks a driver on March 21, 2020 in the city of Munich, southern Germany. - The public life in the city is very limited due to the coronavirus COVID-19. (Photo by Christof STACHE / AFP) (Photo by CHRISTOF STACHE/AFP via Getty Images)
A woman wearing a protective face mask feeds birds in Las Ramblas of Barcelona, Spain, Saturday, March 21, 2020. For some people the COVID-19 coronavirus causes mild or moderate symptoms, but for some it causes severe illness. (AP Photo/Emilio Morenatti)
Volunteers from Aksi Cepat Tanggap (ACT) sprayed disinfectant liquid to prevent the spread of the Corona virus (COVID-19) at one of the Churches in Palu, Central Sulawesi, Indonesia, Saturday (3/21/2020). The Indonesian government said that as of 21 March 2020 450 people in Indonesia were positive for the Corona virus and 38 people had died due to the virus. (Photo by Mohamad Hamzah/NurPhoto via Getty Images)
A man wearing face mask, amid concerns of the COVID-19 coronavirus, walk past the pagoda in Yangon on March 21, 2020. (Photo by Shwe Paw Mya Tin/NurPhoto via Getty Images)
Enfermeiro fotografa impacto do coronavírus nos hospitais da Itália
Vesselin Mareshki, right, leader of Bulgarian Political party Volya, and an MP from from his party wear protective suits during Parliamentary session in the Bulgarian National Assembly in Sofia, Bulgaria, on Friday March 20, 2020. For some people the COVID-19 coronavirus causes mild or moderate symptoms, but for some it can cause very severe illness.(AP Photo/Vesselin Borishev)
A man wearing a face mask walks in the open air market of Belleville, in Paris, Friday, March 20, 2020. French President Emmanuel Macron said that for 15 days starting at noon on Tuesday, people will be allowed to leave the place they live only for necessary activities such as shopping for food, going to work or taking a walk. For most people, the new coronavirus causes only mild or moderate symptoms. For some it can cause more severe illness, especially in older adults and people with existing health problems. (AP Photo/Thibault Camus)
LONDON, ENGLAND - MARCH 20: A TFL worker cleans hand rails on a London Overground train at Stratford station on March 20, 2020 in London, England. Coronavirus (Covid-19) has spread to at least 182 countries, claiming over 10,000 lives and infecting almost 250,000. There have now been 3,269 diagnosed cases in the UK and 144 deaths.(Photo by Justin Setterfield/Getty Images)
SEOUL, SOUTH KOREA - MARCH 20: A South Korean man wears a mask to protect himself from the coronavirus (COVID-19) talks a photo on March 20, 2020 in Seoul, South Korea. According to the Korea Center for Disease Control and Prevention on Friday, 87 new cases were reported. The total number of infections in the nation tallies at 8,652. (Photo by Chung Sung-Jun/Getty Images)
RETRANSMITTED ADDING LOCATION Customers stock up on toilet roll at Costco in Leicester as the Chancellor is to unveil an emergency package aimed at protecting workers' jobs and wages as they face hardship in the fight against the coronavirus pandemic.
Empty streets around Bank Underground station in London.
A person crosses a street in the neighborhood of Chinatown following the outbreak of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in Manhattan, New York City, U.S., March 20, 2020. REUTERS/Andrew Kelly
An employee of Brazilian health equipment startup Hi Technologies, works in a batch of tests to diagnose the coronavirus disease (COVID-19), at their laboratory in Curitiba, Brazil, March 19, 2020. Picture taken March 19, 2020. REUTERS/Rodolfo Buhrer
Sri Lankan airforce personnel spray disinfectant as a preventive measure against the COVID-19 coronavirus outside Fort Railway Station in Colombo on March 18, 2020. (Photo by LAKRUWAN WANNIARACHCHI / AFP) (Photo by LAKRUWAN WANNIARACHCHI/AFP via Getty Images)
A nurse rests during a night shift at a hospital in Cremona, Italy March 8, 2020, in this image obtained from social media. Francesca Mangiatordi/@france_exa/via REUTERS. ATTENTION EDITORS - THIS IMAGE HAS BEEN SUPPLIED BY A THIRD PARTY. MANDATORY CREDIT. TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY
Medical workers in overalls stretch a patient under intensive care into the newly built Columbus Covid 2 temporary hospital to fight the new coronavirus infection, on March 16, 2020 at the Gemelli hospital in Rome. (Photo by ANDREAS SOLARO / AFP) (Photo by ANDREAS SOLARO/AFP via Getty Images)
Medical workers in overalls stretch a patient under intensive care into the newly built Columbus Covid 2 temporary hospital to fight the new coronavirus infection, on March 16, 2020 at the Gemelli hospital in Rome. (Photo by ANDREAS SOLARO / AFP) (Photo by ANDREAS SOLARO/AFP via Getty Images)
MILAN, ITALY - MARCH 16: Attilio Fontana, Governor of the Lombardy Region attends the press conference to present the project of the pavilion at the Fiera di Milano which the hospital dedicated to Covid-19 patients during the coronavirus outbreak on March 16, 2020 in Milan, Italy. Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte announced overnight a "national emergency" due to the coronavirus outbreak and imposed quarantines on the Lombardy and Veneto regions, which contain roughly a quarter of the country's population on March 16, 2020 in Milan, Italy. (Photo by Pier Marco Tacca/Getty Images)
Irish Army cadets, who are being trained to assist with the staffing of a call cente handling contact tracing for coronavirus patients, are trained at Dr Steevens' Hospital in Dublin City centre, on March 13, 2020, as schools and universities closed on Thursday for two weeks with mass gatherings banned and social distancing strongly recommended. - The Republic has had 70 confirmed cases and one death from the COVID-19, well behind neighbouring Britain as well as Italy -- the hardest hit nation in Europe with more than a thousand deaths. (Photo by PAUL FAITH / AFP) (Photo by PAUL FAITH/AFP via Getty Images)
A worker wearing protective gears disinfects as a precaution against the new coronavirus at Gocheok Sky Dome in Seoul, South Korea, Tuesday, March 17, 2020. The Korea Baseball Organization has postponed the start of new season to prevent the spread of the new coronavirus. For most people, the new coronavirus causes only mild or moderate symptoms. For some it can cause more severe illness. (AP Photo/Lee Jin-man)
Personnel from the health ministry check tourists' temperature and for any symptoms amid the new coronavirus outbreak, at Rumichaca border bridge in Tulcan, Ecuador March 1, 2020. REUTERS/Daniel Tapia
A man gestures while Spanish police officers block the way near the border, close to the Spanish basque village of Irun, northern Spain, Tuesday, March 17, 2020. Spain is restoring border controls and severely restricting who can enter the country. Interior Minister Fernando Grande-Marlaska announced Monday that only Spaniards or residents in Spain, people who work just across the border or who have a compelling need will be allowed through. For most people, the new coronavirus causes only mild or moderate symptoms. For some it can cause more severe illness. (AP Photo/Alvaro Barrientos)
A woman receives a COVID-19 novel coronavirus test at a testing booth outside the Yangji hospital in Seoul on March 17, 2020. - A South Korean hospital has introduced "phone booth"-style coronavirus testing facilities that avoid medical staff having to touch patients directly and cut down disinfection times. (Photo by Ed JONES / AFP) (Photo by ED JONES/AFP via Getty Images)
The National Museum is temporary closed due to a Covid-19 outbreaks in Greater Jakarta Area on Monday (16/03) Museum authorities decide to sterilize all museum facilities as a response to the Indonesian government's instructions to minimize the spread of the pandemi causes pneumonia-like symptoms. The virus control personnels spread disinfectant in every floor at the museum such as pre historic section, Indonesian national treasure and old statues at the museum. (Photo by Mas Agung Wilis/NurPhoto via Getty Images)
CARACAS, VENEZUELA - MARCH 16: People wear face masks as a preventive measure against coronavirus (Covid-19) after Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro ordered a âcollective quarantineâ in seven states in Caracas, Venezuela on March 16, 2020. (Photo by Boris Vergara/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images)
TURIN, ITALY - March 16, 2020: A nurse exit from a temporary pre triage tent. The Italian government imposed unprecedented restrictions to halt the spread of COVID-19 coronavirus outbreak, among other measures people movements are allowed only for work, for buying essential goods and for health reasons. (Photo by Nicol� Campo/Sipa USA)
AMSTERDAM, Wallen, 16-03-2020, Sex clubs in Amsterdam�s �Red Light� district were told to close down and long lines formed at marijuana coffee shops on Sunday, as the Netherlands imposed tight restrictions to prevent the spread of coronavirus. (Photo by Pro Shots/Sipa USA)
SEATTLE, WA - MARCH 15: An airline employee places literature at check-in counters at the Seattle-Tacoma International Airport on March 15, 2020 in Seattle, Washington. The state of Washington has over 600 confirmed cases of coronavirus (COVID-19) and U.S. airports have been crushed with returning citizens after restrictions on travel from Europe were implemented. (Photo by John Moore/Getty Images)
Members of Indonesian Red Cross prepare to disinfect a school in the wake of coronavirus outbreak in Jakarta, Indonesia, Monday, March 16, 2020. Indonesia's capital city announced a lockdown of all tourist destinations and entertainment as well as the closing all of its public schools for the next 14 days amid the global outbreak. For most people, the new coronavirus causes only mild or moderate symptoms. For some, it can cause more severe illness, especially in older adults and people with existing health problems. (AP Photo/Dita Alangkara)
A pastor wearing a face mask attends a service at the Yoido Full Gospel Church in Seoul, South Korea, Sunday, March 15, 2020. The church decided to replace Sunday services with online ones for members' safety amid the spread of the new coronavirus. For most people, the new coronavirus causes only mild or moderate symptoms. For some it can cause more severe illness. (AP Photo/Ahn Young-joon)
An employee in protective gears prepares to spray disinfectant in the wake of coronavirus outbreak inside a train at the Senen train station in Jakarta Indonesia, Sunday, March 15, 2020. Indonesia's capital city announced a lockdown of all tourist destinations and entertainment spots as well as the closing all of its public schools for the next 14 days amid the global outbreak. For most people, the new coronavirus causes only mild or moderate symptoms. For some it can cause more severe illness. (AP Photo/Tatan Syuflana)
Soldiers stay at a checkpoint along a major thoroughfare in Valenzuela City, Philippines following the implementation of community quarantine in the whole of Metro Manila at midnight of March 15, 2020. Army soldiers and police officers were deployed at border points to limit the movement of people in the countrys capital region where majority of the 111 COVID-19 cases were recorded.(Photo by Lisa Marie David/NurPhoto via Getty Images)
A worker wearing protective gear sprays disinfectant to sanitise a metro train as a preventive measure against the COVID-19 coronavirus in Lisbon.
Portugal is currently on a state of alert after the COVID-19 epidemic has spread throughout Europe. Schools, museums, clubs and many spaces for public use are closed as a preventive measure against the COVID-19 epidemic. (Photo by Hugo Amaral / SOPA Images/Sipa USA)
Workers wearing protective suit sprays disinfectant to all at station areas as a anticipation against the Coronavirus (COVID-19) at Yogyakarta Station in Yogyakarta, Indonesia on March 14, 2020. Spraying was done after the Government of Indonesia announced, 96 cases positive, five killed affected by coronavirus in Indonesia. (Photo by Devi Rahman/INA Photo Agency/Sipa USA)
QUEZON, PHILIPPINES - MARCH 15: A police officer is seen wearing a facemask as he stands guard at a checkpoint as authorities begin implementing a lockdown on Manila on March 15, 2020 in the outskirts of Metro Manila, Philippines. The Philippine government is placing some 12 million people in the capital Manila on lockdown as well as suspending government work for a month to prevent the spread of COVID-19. As of Saturday evening, the Philippines' Department of Health has confirmed 111 cases of the deadly coronavirus in the country, with at least 8 recorded fatalities. (Photo by Ezra Acayan/Getty Images)
HONG KONG, CHINA - MARCH 14: Police arrives at a public housing building as residents are evacuated from their home to a quarantine center after multiple infections of the novel coronavirus at Fu Heng Estate on March 14, 2020 in Hong Kong, China. As the COVID-19 virus continues to spread throughout countries around the world, healthcare professionals aid the sick in hospitals and temporary substitute facilities created as needed in hard hit communities. (Photo by Anthony Kwan/Getty Images)
Foto Claudio Furlan - LaPresse / Sipa USA
13 Marzo 2020 Milano (Italia) News
Flashmob sonoro contro la solitudine da coronavirus presso lo spazio di mutuo soccorso di piazza stuparich Photo Claudio Furlan/Lapresse
13 March 2020 Milan (Italy)
People perform a flashmob from their windows singing and playing instruments as a response to loneliness caused by lockdown facing the Coronavirus outbreak in Italy.
SERIATE, ITALY - MARCH 28: The Italian military vehicles carry the coffins of coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic victims from the church of San Giuseppe to the crematorium on March 28, 2020 in Seriate, Italy. (Photo by Pier Marco Tacca/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images)
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The retail industry has insisted there is enough food for everyone and ministers have said rationing is unnecessary, but customers have been faced with empty shelves and have struggled to get everything on their shopping lists.
Environment Secretary George Eustice has said there is no shortage of food in the country, with manufacturers having increased production by 50%.
But in a letter to Boris Johnson, dated March 20, experts including Prof Lang, a professor of food policy at City, University of London, called on the Government to "initiate a health-based food-rationing scheme to see the country through this crisis".
The letter says: "This should start from Public Health England's Eatwell Plate, our official nutrition guidelines, and draw on expertise from the devolved administrations, and relevant disciplines."
The professor's letter calls on the Government to: "Announce immediately that this new Food Rationing Scheme will be open, equitable and based on health needs, taking account of age, income, and vulnerability, and that this will be applied UK-wide."
The experts are also calling on the Government to "rapidly review options for ensuring people on low incomes have sufficient money to buy a decent diet", and suggested a national voucher scheme redeemable for nutritionally sound purchases such as fruit and vegetables.
Prof Lang told the PA news agency the current situation facing the country is "Brexit times 20", and criticised the Government for blaming the public "when they buy food", suggesting that the term "stock-piling" is being used incorrectly.
"Stock-piling means you get enough food for six months or a year," he said.
Prof Lang said it is "an entirely understandable situation" that people are turning to supermarkets more in light of cafes and restaurants being closed.
He said it is "unacceptable" to blame the consumer, adding: "This is unacceptable. This is not the way to treat the public in a good way."
Prof Lang said a "very difficult period" is ahead, adding: "We've got to do demand management, not just blame people when they start getting three days or a week's food supply.
"That's nothing. Nothing. In my childhood, that's what everyone did."
He said there needs to be a public food committee which "addresses the interest of the public", adding: "What is being exposed is the lack of devolved regional and local food engagement."
He added: "We're in a bad place, to be stark with you."
Prof Lang said the public are beginning to "act rationally in some respects" by "stocking up a little bit", adding: "They're doing what we used to call a larder."
He added: "The public is absolutely understandable to act in a fearful way. The way to deal with food fears in these circumstances is not to start blaming them.
"It's stupid. Absolutely stupid."
Meanwhile, Allergy UK said it is very aware of the impact of "bulk buying" on people who need "free-from" products.
The charity said: "We have highlighted this issue through all our communication channels and are working together with other partners to bring this to the attention of government departments and agencies on the basis of the needs of people living with food allergy and its potential status as an 'underlying condition'.
"We are also contacting all the major supermarkets directly to bring this to their attention and ask what action can be taken."
Elsewhere, shopworkers trade union Usdaw welcomed Morrisons agreeing to new safety measures, including perspex screens, to help protect checkout operators.
Paddy Lillis, Usdaw general secretary, said: "We have increasing concerns about the safety and welfare of staff in stores.
"The scenes in stores over the weekend and behaviour of some customers mean that supermarkets need to go further to protect the health, safety and welfare of shopworkers."