In the most recent statistics, the UK death toll is 10, with the total number of confirmed coronavirus cases climbing to 590. In light of Coronavirus panic, all major UK Supermarkets have begun to ration their stock, leading to empty aisles.
Cleaning Products and Hand Sanitisers
Logically, hand sanitiser was one of the first items to sell out. Now, supermarkets have been forced to cap the number of hand sanitiser gels per person. Even high street stores have been running out of hand sanitisers. This is not limited just to hygiene products but also across all cleaning products. Waitrose, Aldi, Asda and Morrisons are a few of many supermarkets and retailers minimising the hand sanitisers available, both physically in store and through online purchases.
These rations followed a surge in panic buying of key sanitary supplies as well as staple food items. In light of Coronavirus-related news, one in ten people started to panic buy, according to a recent survey; a number which is thought to have increased exponentially as the global number of cases continues to soar. Consumers are seemingly ignoring expert advice which suggests that there is absolutely no reason to stockpile at this time.
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Sundries and Other Goods
This panic buying is not simply restricted to cleaning products. Dry pasta, long-life milk, toilet paper and some tinned goods have also undergone rationing in many supermarkets. Supermarkets suggest that this is to ensure consumer demand is being met. Suppliers are having to be much more cautious about production and distribution at this time.
With many people opting to stay indoors, online shopping and supermarket home delivery seems like a convenient solution. However, online suppliers are also heavily restricting their available products. In addition, they are unable to promise their usual speedy delivery services, with a lot of strain currently on the delivery system, an increased amount of demand and more limited supplies.
With other European cities facing self-isolation and total lock-down in the case of some cities, the UK supermarket industry is remaining savvy and preparing itself. Experts seem to suggest that the supply chain is fairly robust and that, even with currently empty shelves, stock will soon be replenished. However, in a time of uncertainty, it is impossible to know exactly how long these policies will last and thus exactly how much we need to be stocking up on essential goods.