Coronavirus panic buyers urged to ‘be responsible’ and ‘respect’ staff

The government has urged people to "be responsible" and respect staff to ensure "you and your neighbour" get the supplies you need during the coronavirus pandemic.

Speaking during the daily coronavirus Downing Street briefing on Saturday afternoon, Environment Secretary George Eustice urged people not to panic-buy.

He said: "We recognise that this is a challenging time and there are many things the Government is asking the nation to do differently as we work together to fight this pandemic.

"Be responsible when you shop and think of others.

"Buying more than you need means others may be left without."

In order to increase deliveries, the government said it worked with supermarkets to extend delivery hours so people can adhere to social distancing guidelines.

Brits have taken panic buying to the next level in recent weeks, with fighting and screaming reported in supermarkets across the country following the outbreak.

Supermarkets have even had to enforce rationing on sought after items such as pasta, toilet roll, and cleaning products.

Environment Secretary Eustice said the rush has meant an estimated £3bn worth of supplies is now sitting on shelves.

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The government said panic buying has meant businesses have been forced to operate at an extra 50% as shelves lay empty.

Helen Dickinson said: "I have been working in the wider industry for more years than I care to remember but I can tell you the competitive nature of the industry has meant supplies can be obtained at fair prices."

On further rationing items and the possibility of implementing rationing books, Environment Secretary Eustices said: "We think it is better for individual retailers to make individual judgements."

He added "supermarkets are best placed to make those judgements" and said the demand is likely to be "temporary."

  • Coronavirus

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