Morrisons reinstates door marshals to limit number of shoppers in stores amid fears of Covid panic buying as supermarkets double delivery slots to prepare for second wave

  • ‘Some people are definitely panic buying again,’ warns supermarket worker 
  • Stores say they are more prepared for demand than they were six months ago 
  • Tesco boosted its weekly online ordering capacity from 600,000 to 1.5million

Morrisons has reinstated door marshals at its stores to limit the number of shoppers amid fears of Covid-19 panic buying – as supermarkets double their delivery slots to prepare for a second wave.

 Staff will be stationed at all 494 of Morrisons supermarkets to monitor shoppers and remind them to wear face masks.

 It comes as bosses at Britain’s big chains insisted they have enough stock and delivery slots for everyone, as they try to prevent scenes of panic buying seen back in March.

Morrisons has reinstated marshals to monitor customer numbers and remind them to wear masks, while Tesco has boosted its online ordering capacity

Tesco’s weekly ordering capacity has risen from 600,000 to 1.5million – but it remains fully booked until Wednesday.

There are three-day waiting times for Ocado, while Sainsbury’s is experiencing high demand. 

Sainsbury’s revealed the number of Christmas pudding searches was four times higher than this time last year.

The online supermarkets pasted notices on their ‘pick a slot’ page warning customers the sites were experiencing high demand.

Ocado’s read: ‘Delivery slots are selling out faster than usual. If you can’t find a slot now, please use the “Next 3 days” button to see available slots further in advance.’  

Toilet roll and kitchen roll was seemingly in shorter supply than normal at a Tesco in the West Midlands, with one shopper sharing pictures of the bare shelves on Twitter (above)

A notice on Sainsbury’s delivery slots page said: ‘Slots are still in high demand. We have been working hard to expand our service.  More slots are now available and we are able to offer some of them to other customers. 

‘Customers who are vulnerable will get priority access and are able to book slots in advance of anyone else. We’re releasing new slots regularly so please check back if you can’t see any available.’

On Saturday, Tesco was fully booked until Wednesday with an available slots all priced at £5.50 – and there were no available spaces until Monday at Asda.

Delivery slots for supermarkets, including Ocado and Sainsbury’s, are also selling out ‘faster than normal’ as shoppers worry that a second wave of panic buying has already started

Concerned shoppers took to Twitter over the weekend to share photographs of their local supermarkets, showing shelves completely emptied of essential items.

One Twitter user shared photographs of an ASDA in London where cereals seemed in short supply, leaving shoppers with fewer brands to choose from.

Another shopper posted pictures of a Tesco in the West Midlands, where kitchen roll and toilet roll was in short supply – but had not been completely cleared out.

One person shared pictures on Twitter, writing: ‘This was my local Tesco! People are already panic buying once again! Even though supermarkets do stay open.’ 

An ASDA shopper said: ‘This is our ASDA it’s madness and as you say even though they are staying open.’

There are concerns that a second wave of panic buying has already begun as shoppers share photographs of supermarkets with the shelves stripped bare (above, ASDA in London)

And another person predicted that ‘It’s happening again’.

Andrew Opie, head of food and sustainability at the British Retail Consortium, told The Mirror: ‘We urge consumers to be considerate and shop for food as they would usually during this difficult time.’

One supermarket worker in Birmingham told the paper: ‘Some people are definitely panic buying again. We have 4,000 more items this weekend than we usually would. 

‘When the panic buying started months ago, we hadn’t experienced it. We are prepared now.’ 

Concerned shoppers shared pictures of panic buying from stores in London and other parts of the country

The Prime Minister is now threatening to ‘intensify’ coronavirus restrictions as he blames the British public for the rise in cases – despite his repeated pleas for people to return to their desks and eat out at pubs and restaurants in a bid to resuscitate Britain’s economy. 

Government scientists have spooked Boris Johnson with warnings of hundreds of daily coronavirus deaths ‘within weeks’ as they said: ‘There is no alternative to a second national lockdown.’ 

Mr Johnson looks to ditch his Rule of Six and introduce fortnight-long ‘circuit breakers’ nationwide for six months, following claims that it was ‘inevitable’ that a second wave would hit the country.

The new approach to get the UK through winter would see it alternate periods of stricter measures, including bans on all social contact between households and shutting down hospitality and leisure venues like bars and restaurants, with intervals of relaxation. Schools will be shut as a ‘last resort’, a Whitehall source claimed. 

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