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Supermarkets are urging shoppers not to panic buy over increasing fears of a second lockdown.
Images posted on social media this weekend reveal bare shelves as shoppers appear to have started stockpiling items such as pasta, cereal, toilet roll, flour and tinned food.
And in a bid to prevent a repeat of the panic buying which took place earlier this year, supermarkets have also made changes to online delivery slots, too.
It's reported that Tesco has more than doubled its capacity from 600,000 slots to 1.5million. Meanwhile, the likes of Ocado and Sainsbury's are reporting higher than normal demand.
Andrew Opie, head of food and sustainability at the British Retail Consortium, said supermarkets are urging people to shop as they normally would. He said: "We urge consumers to be considerate and shop for food as they would usually during this difficult time."
But over on social media, and it seems the panic buying has already begun.
Sharing an image of a near-empty cereal shelf, one person tweeted: "Please people not again!!! Panic buying will result in unnecessary stress for those who need these items the most."
Please people not again!!! Panic buying will result in unnecessary stress for those who need these items the most pic.twitter.com/5rYEhkWbRm- Natasha Donovan FHEA (@gllp) September 20, 2020
News is reporting panic buying! Tesco this morning! pic.twitter.com/r4CJWSL4Oa- Jay (@The1JayD) September 21, 2020
Pasta panic buying has begun in Asda. pic.twitter.com/xM966KHcnu- Han :kiss: (@WeirdLittleHen) September 19, 2020
While another person posted an image of a low-stocked toilet roll aisle, writing: "This was my local @Tesco ! People are already panic buying once again."
"Pasta panic buying has begun in Asda," wrote one woman, sharing a snap of a stripped bare pasta shelf.
It comes as coronavirus cases across the UK have been rapidly increasing over the last fortnight, with many fearing a second lockdown is imminent. In a bid to get on top of the increase, over the weekend, the government introduced new fines for those who refuse to self isolate.
Those who do not self isolate if they test positive for coronavirus, or have been in close contact with someone who has, could be fined up to £10,000.
The new measure will be introduced from 28th September, with fines beginning at £1,000 and rising to £10,000 for repeat offenders.
The government is also introducing a support payment of £500 for those on low incomes who need to self isolate, and fines for employers who try and penalise employees for isolating. The support payment will be made on top of statutory sick pay and any other benefits.
Speaking about the rules, Prime Minister Boris Johnson said: "So nobody underestimates just how important this is, new regulations will mean you are legally obliged to do so if you have the virus or have been asked to do so by NHS Test and Trace. People who choose to ignore the rules will face significant fines.
"We need to do all we can to control the spread of this virus, to prevent the most vulnerable people from becoming infected, and to protect the NHS and save lives."
This morning - at what is expected to be around 11am - Chief Medical Officer Professor Chris Whitty and Chief Scientific Adviser Sir Patrick Vallance will give a televised announcement to the British public.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson is expected to address the nation on Tuesday. More to follow...
Featured Image Credit: PA
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