Pictures posted on social media showed a line of people snaking around the store in Holloway Road, one of north London’s main shopping streets. Shortly after 7.30am, just half an hour before the doors opened, dozens of Londoners were gathered outside waiting their turn, as the city prepares to go into lockdown. And staff at the Aldi in Colliers Wood, south London, were also controlling the amount of people let inside, Express.co.uk has confirmed.
Aldi’s restrictions on the number of people inside the shop at one time comes as supermarkets across the UK have been forced to ration essential items.
The budget supermarket giant became the first store to introduce limits, telling customers they could not buy any more than four of the same items.
Others grocery shops have followed suit, with Asda introducing a three-item limit across food, toiletries and cleaning products, Tesco limiting the sale of food products to three items and Sainsbury’s refusing to sell more than two packs of toilet paper, handwash and UHT milk to each shopper.
The measures were introduced weeks after frantic shoppers began stripping shelves.
Express.co.uk has contacted Aldi for clarification on crowd control measures.
Thursday morning’s queues outside supermarkets comes as London Mayor Sadiq Khan rolls out closures across the Tube network.
Mr Khan said: “People should not be travelling, by any means, unless they really, really have to.”
Transport for London (TfL) said it would close up to 40 underground train stations until further notice.
Other services including some buses and trains will also be slashed.
The entire Waterloo & City line is being closed.
As London prepared for shut down, 20,000 British military service personnel were put on standby.
Troops will be called on to help authorities tackle the coronavirus outbreak, which is spreading faster in the capital than anywhere ese in the UK.
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More than 900 cases of Covid-19 have been confirmed and 34 people have died in the city.
The Queen is due to leave Buckingham Palace for her Windsor residence.
The monarch, 93, has also agreed to postpone the planned state visit by Japanese Emperor Naruhito in June.
Boris Johnson has asked the government to come up with plans for a lockdown of London which would see businesses closed, transport services reduced, gatherings limited and more stringent controls imposed on the population.
Pressed at a news conference whether tougher measures were needed to shut down London where bars, public transport and businesses remain busy, the Prime Minister said: “We’ve always said we’re going to do the right measures at the right time.”
Britain has so far reported 104 deaths from coronavirus and 2,626 confirmed cases.
But UK scientific advisers say more than 50,000 people might have already been infected.
Britain faces a “massive shortage” of ventilators that will be needed to treat critically ill patients suffering from coronavirus, after it failed to invest enough in intensive care equipment, a leading ventilator manufacturer said.
With the world’s fifth largest economy coming to a standstill, the pound on Wednesday plunged to its lowest level since March 1985, barring levels seen during a freak “flash crash” in October 2016.
On Thursday the pound was down 0.5 percent at $1.1570.
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