Looking around the Tesco and Asda stores in Grimsby and Cleethorpes, shelves that would normally have essentials such as toilet paper and pasta appear empty or very depleted.
They were among the first products targeted by panicked shoppers at the onset of the pandemic, with toilet paper in particular quickly flying off shelves as supermarkets struggled to manage demand.
Supermarket bosses must warn shoppers not to panic to buy, with stores rapidly increasing delivery capacity and introducing new measures to feed the country.
Andrew Opie, of the British Retail Consortium, told the Mirror: “Retailers have done a great job ensuring that customers have access to food and essentials throughout this pandemic.
“Supermarkets have implemented a series of security measures to protect staff and customers.
“In the event of future lockdowns, we urge consumers to be considerate and purchase food as they usually would during this difficult time. “
Britain’s top scientists announced on Monday that there could be up to 50,000 new cases of Covid-19 a day by mid-October if the second wave is not dealt with quickly. To learn more, click here.
The blunt warning from Professor Chris Whitty, England’s chief medical officer, raised fears of a second lockdown. Prime Minister Boris Johnson is expected to make an announcement on Tuesday outlining ‘next steps’ to tackle the growing number of coronavirus cases across the UK. Click here to learn more about the restrictions that may be in place.
Earlier this year, supermarkets were forced to put strict rules in place to ensure there was enough food and essentials to move around.
Most of these rules have since been relaxed.
In Asda’s Grimsby branch and Cleethorpes’ Tesco Extra, there was plenty of food available on Monday, but there were tell-tale signs of people starting to panic.
In Tesco Extra, there were empty shelves where loose toilet paper would be found, as well as empty cans of bleach in the nearby cleaning aisle.
For food, canned items were plentiful but there were some empty spaces in the pasta section.
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In Asda, there seemed to be more evidence of panic buying.
For toilet paper, there were a lot of empty spaces where people bought a lot of items in bulk, with some spaces where smaller packages were also found.
A similar image was found in the cleaning supplies aisle, with entire empty shelves where Asda-branded bleach would be found, as well as spaces where people purchased Domestos and other brands.
In the pasta aisle there is still enough stock for everyone, but buyers have almost emptied some of the large boxes.
Watch: Chris Whitty’s six-month coronavirus warning
Canned items were also strongly affected. Baked beans, another of the many items purchased in bulk earlier this year, have been hit hard.
One buyer said, “People have definitely started to panic to buy again. It’s ridiculous.
“The only reason we had these issues last time around is because people were buying too much for themselves and not leaving enough for the rest of us.
“If we come together and buy only what we need, we won’t have to worry about it whether we have a second foreclosure or not. “