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Images on social media showed empty shelves on Tuesday as shoppers desperately flocked to stock up before the Christmas rush. The frenzy comes as the UK is grappling with a more virulent strain of COVID-19, forcing tough restrictions on millions.
Supermarket selves have been stripped bare of fresh fruit and vegetable after France and other EU countries closed their borders following the new strain of the virus.
The travel ban was imposed over the weekend for 48 hours and left hundreds of lorries stuck in Kent.
But supermarkets like Tesco and Sainsbury’s reassured the public there is plenty of stock for the festive season.
In a statement, Tesco said: “We’ve been building our stockholding of key products ahead of the Christmas peak and are working closely with our hauliers and suppliers to continue the supply of goods into our stores.
“We’re doing everything we can to limit the impact for our customers.”
Philip Hambling, head of food at the National Farmers’ Union, said it had been reassured that shops were well supplied.
He said: “We are working to understand and help deal with any immediate implications of the temporary border restrictions between the UK and France on Britain’s farmers and growers and how this may impact their businesses.
“We remain in close contact with our partners across the supply chain where we are reassured that stores are well-stocked and there is plenty of fresh, seasonal British food available.
“It’s crucial this situation is resolved as soon as possible as there will be perishable produce expected to travel to and from the EU in the coming days.”
However, people have ignored advice and stocked up on items as the shops go bare once again.
People took to social media to urged others not to panic buy again, with one person writing on Twitter: “Why tf are ppl panic buying!
“Not this s**t again!
“Please I beg!”
Someone else said: “Breads gone, also toilet paper again for some reason.”
Another person said: “Can everyone stop panic buying please as NHS staff are still working up until Christmas and work Christmas Day who need to buy food.”
Another person said: “This is not the time to panic buy or to start hoarding.
“It is effectively saying that other people and their families do not matter.
“We all rely on each other, we all need each other, we are all responsible for each other.”
More to follow…
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