Coronavirus update: UK supermarkets tackle stockpiling and "panic buying"

Published by Ross Hindle on March 18th 2020, 9:09am

This morning, Sainsbury's announced that it would be rationing food products and prioritising the "elderly and vulnerable" following a trend of customers stockpiling products over the past few weeks.

The supermarket will be imposing a three-item limit on most products, as well as specific opening hours for those who are elderly and vulnerable. They will also be prioritised for delivery. Tesco has also announced that it will be closing stores that are open 24 hours a day in order to restock them overnight.

Other supermarkets have already announced item limits for essentials - including toilet paper, and hand sanitiser - and the Leaders Council expects many of them to follow suit with the measures that Sainsbury's has taken.

On general coronavirus news in the UK, the death toll is 71 as of 10AM, 18th March.

Following Chancellor Rishi Sunak's announcement of emergency economic measures to support small businesses, the government has been "urged to do more for families and workers".

Approximately ten specialist scientists from Porton Down, the Ministry of Defence's research laboratory, have been drafted to help control the spread of the virus.

The Judicial Office also announced yesterday that all trials longer than three days would be postponed in England and Wales.

Elsewhere in the world, the EU has started its border restrictions, with the first people having been turned away from an airport this morning.

The US is supposedly working on a "stimulus package" of $850 billion, and cases have now been detected in all 50 of the country's states. The state of Nevada also announced that all non-essential businesses - including casinos - would closer.

There are more urgent calls for support in South East Asia, with the WHO stating that countries in that region need to "act now". While case increases in South Korea have been declining in recent weeks, small "clusters" have appeared in the past 48 hours.

Finally, in Australia, the filming of soap opera Neighbours - which celebrated its 35th birthday just a week ago - has also been temporarily suspended.

The Leaders Council evening update will follow after the Downing Street conference later today.

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Authored By

Ross Hindle
Content Director
March 18th 2020, 9:09am

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