An Iceland supermarket has limited customers to one pack of toilet paper per visit, although the company insists there hasn’t been any panic buying.
Shops are insisting there are enough essential items to go around and that there is no need to buy more than usual.
But despite pleas for people to act reasonably, large queues have still formed outside Costco stores across the UK.
Shoppers were pictured filling their trolleys and car boot with loo roll in an echo of March’s chaos.
It comes after Boris Johnson unveiled a raft of new measures aimed at curbing the spread of coronavirus including a curfew on pubs and tougher rules on face masks.
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While Downing Street has not ruled out a second nationwide lockdown if the outbreak gets drastically worse, the Prime Minister says the Government is trying everything it can to avoid one, with no mention of shops closing down.
Despite the panic buying earlier in the year, supermarkets were never required to shut, meaning staff were left with the stressful job of restocking empty shelves for no good reason.
Staff at an Iceland branch in West Worthing, West Sussex, have put a handwritten sign up in an aisle saying: ‘1 pack of toilet roll/kitchen roll per customer!’
However the chain said this was ‘strictly a local initiative’ and not a company wide policy.
In a statement, it said: ‘We have seen some increase in demand for paper products in the last few days, but no evidence of panic buying. Nor should there be.
‘There is plenty of stock in the system and therefore no need for the company to impose official restrictions on purchases.
‘We do not expect there to be any shortages or restrictions so long as people continue to shop responsibly for what they actually need.
‘The empty shelves found in March could also have been avoided if people had adhered to that simple advice.
‘Since the start of lockdown we and the other food retailers have invested many millions in making our supply chains more robust and our stores Covid secure.
‘We have also vastly increased our online delivery capacity to 750,000 slots per week, so there is no shortage of those, either.
‘We cannot overemphasise the fact that there is no need for panic buying and that it is both selfish and socially divisive: stockpiling is only an option for the better-off, and it seriously disadvantages those including the elderly and vulnerable who can only afford to buy what they need.’
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