UK supermarkets are urging the public to be considerate to others and stop panic buying as the number of UK coronavirus cases rises.
A joint letter from British Retail Consortium (BRC) members urging consumers to work together to ensure there is enough food for the UK after images of fighting and empty shelves, especially in the loo roll and dried pasta aisles, were broadcast worldwide.
The letter says: “We know that many of you are worried about the spread of coronavirus.”
“We want to let you know that we are doing everything we can so that you and your families have the food and essentials you need.”
“But we need your help too. We would ask everyone to be considerate in the way they shop.”
“We understand your concerns, but buying more than is needed can sometimes mean that others will be left without.”
“There is enough for everyone if we all work together.”
“Together we can make sure we are looking out for family, friends, neighbours.”
“Together we will care for those around us and those who are elderly, vulnerable or choosing to remain at home.”
Retailers said they are working “round the clock” to help customers get the items they need, the BRC said, as further restrictions are placed on the public to stop the spread of Covid-19.
Firms are working closely with the government and suppliers, and they have arranged for more store deliveries to ensure shelves are stocked, the letter added.
Online delivery and click-and-collect services are running at full capacity to ensure people get the products they need, it added.
Environment secretary George Eustice welcomed the letter and said: “By working together, our leading supermarkets have provided the reassurance there is plenty of stock available and people should buy products as they normally would.
“We are in regular contact with the food industry and retailers are continuing to monitor their supply chains and are taking all the necessary steps to ensure consumers have the food and supplies they need.”