Shoppers Queue Outside Supermarkets At 6am
A number of supermarkets that had previously been open 24 hours a day have announced new hours of operation to cope with the 'unprecedented demand' as shoppers rush out to stock up.
Most 24-hour Tesco stores will now close at 10pm and reopen at 6am, with a few stores remaining open later; meanwhile Asda has announced it will be shutting many of its 24-hour shops between 12am and 6am for restocking.
As a result, shoppers up and down the country have been seen forming lengthy queues outside while they wait for the doors to open.
Footage filmed this morning outside Tesco Extra in Gallions Reach, Newham, showed dozens of shoppers stood in line before the doors opened.
Due to panic buying, most supermarkets have introduced restrictions to their items, with Sainsbury's limiting shoppers to three of each of all its grocery products, and two of each of certain popular items such as tins of beans and toilet paper.
Tesco has also put a limit of three of each grocery product per customer.
Asda and Morrisons have imposed similar rules, with limits on more than 1,200 items.
Supermarkets have urged shoppers to shop sensibly and have reassured customers there is enough for everyone if people stop panic buying.
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In a joint letter shared last week, UK supermarkets such as Asda, Waitrose, Aldi, and Tesco said: "We know that many of you are worried about the spread of coronavirus (Covid-19).
"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."
Many supermarkets, including Sainsbury's and Asda, have introduced a special hour of shopping for the elderly and vulnerable.
Chief executive Mike Coupe said in a statement to customers: "I hope that you can respect this decision and will work with us as we try our best to help those that it the most. If you or an elderly family member, friend or neighbour would like to shop during this hour, please check online for your local supermarket opening hours."
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Featured Image Credit: PA