Do they know it's Christmas lockdown? Shoppers hit Oxford Street and queue for Primark

2 months ago 6

Panic-buying hordes descended on supermarkets and shops today as the UK's second national lockdown loomed on the horizon - snapping up clothes and even a snowman.

Hundreds of customers lined up to get into stores, including Sainsbury's and wholesalers Costco, ahead of the shutdown coming in on Thursday.

Primark - which will have to close under lockdown - also saw queues outside its flagship Oxford Street store. 

And those hoping to stay at home were also dealt a blow as delivery slots became booked up for the entire month. 

Selfridges on Oxford Street in central London was visited by shoppers looking to get gifts before the start of lockdown

Primark in Birmingham - which will have to close during lockdown - had a huge queue outside its doors this morning

Lines of shoppers stacked up outside Costco in Croydon this morning patiently waited to get inside the bulk buy store

The chaos began to unfold after Prime Minister Boris Johnson stunned the nation by announcing a second national lockdown after weeks of insisting it would not happen.

But shoppers descending on stores were met with bewilderment by onlookers - given that they will be allowed to stay open during the restrictions. 

In Croydon outside Cosco there were lines of people queuing up to get inside this morning after the weekend's announcement.

The story was sadly the same in other supermarkets, with some shelves picked clean by shoppers. 

Primark - who will have to close after Thursday - was also popular with customers buying presents ahead of December 25. 

Barking and Dagenham Cllr Andrew Achilleos urged people to act sensibly. 

In Bristol people were getting their supplies in ahead of the new Boris Johnson-announced national lockdown on Thursday

In Sainbury's in Hedge End, Hampshire, many of the toilet roll shelves were very low on stock amid fears shops could run out

Shoppers needing to do their big shops were seen in Sainsbury's three days from lockdown with packed trolleys and baskets

A shopper outside Costco in Birmingham stocked up on toilet rolls ahead of the shutdown starting just 72 hours away

Toilet products were incredibly popular among some shoppers in the West Midlands who had their trolley filled

Twitter users described desperate scenes inside and outside stores as panic buying gripped some parts of the nation

Rationing starts in Tesco 

Supermarkets are rationing their goods again as customers panic buy before lockdown on Thursday.

Tesco supermarket in Ely, Cambs, has put limits on essential goods, such as toilet rolls, flour and eggs, as shoppers panic buy before lockdown begins.

Supermarkets have been urging people not to stockpile items, but customers appear to be taking no notice and are stocking up on non-essential items and cupboard goods, just as they did back in March before the first national lockdown.

Today (Mon) the shelves were bare in aisles at Asda in Cambridge and Tesco in Ely in Cambridgeshire.

Home delivery slots are also getting booked up, with many customers struggling to get slots and taking to Twitter to complain.

Amsilks tweeted: 'It's already started * cannot get an online shopping slot at £tesco in the next three weeks! Great everyone * As a teacher I'll be at work after Thursday just like I have been since the first lockdown!'

Chris added: '@Tesco we have delivery saver and a newborn and can't get a delivery slot for days * is there anyway you can help us out?'

He said: 'There is no need to panic buy. 

'Just continue doing your normal weekly shop whilst following social distancing guidelines.

'The only way things will run out is if people insist on buying literally everything for no good reason.' 

On Twitter David Clayton described apocalyptic scenes as he ventured out into London.

He said: 'Just had to go into the city. Armageddon. 

'Like a scene from day of the dead. People with a look in their eyes that's a mix of panic and desperation.

'Quick buy stuff regardless of whether or not they need it. Horrible.' 

One Tesco supermarket in Ely, Cambs, was forced to put limits on essential goods, such as toilet rolls, flour and eggs, as shoppers panic buy before lockdown begins.

Supermarkets have been urging people not to stockpile items, but customers appear to be taking no notice and are stocking up on non-essential items and cupboard goods, just as they did back in March before the first national lockdown.

Today the shelves were bare in aisles at Asda in Cambridge and Tesco in Ely in Cambridgeshire.

Amsilks tweeted: 'It's already started * cannot get an online shopping slot at £tesco in the next three weeks! Great everyone * As a teacher I'll be at work after Thursday just like I have been since the first lockdown!'

Chris added: '@Tesco we have delivery saver and a newborn and can't get a delivery slot for days * is there anyway you can help us out?' 

The difficulties in trying to secure delivery slots to get food sent to homes was the same in other parts of the country. 

Lines and lines of shoppers massed to get in despite shops selling essentials staying being open throughout lockdown

One shopper got in early to buy a snowman ahead of the new strict restrictions, perhaps fearing it could be his last chance

Despite the cold conditions and chilly weather customers were still keen to be able to do their shopping today in Birmingham

Some shoppers are concerned stock of essential items could run out during lockdown due to a huge rise in demand

What are the rules for shops from Thursday? 

Shops that can stay open:

Food shopsSupermarkets Garden centres Retailers providing essential goods and services 

Shops that must shut (including but not limited to): 

ClothingElectronics stores Vehicle showrooms Travel agents Betting shopsAuction housesTailors Car washes Tobacco and vape shops  

In some parts of London, Morrisons had no availability for the whole of the month of November. 

It came after the Covid Quad committee, which has taken all the key strategic decisions during the pandemic, met in the Cabinet Office on Friday.

They came together for the crunch talks after doomsday predictions from the Government's SAGE committee of scientific advisers.

Mr Johnson was forced to unveil the new lockdown  at a hurriedly-arranged press conference yesterday after plans from the meeting leaked.

The measures come into force from midnight on Thursday morning until December 2.

They close all but essential shops, restaurants, pubs, hairdressers and leisure centres.

The furlough scheme that pays workers 80% of their wages will be extended for a month, and travel outside the UK will be allowed only for 'work'. 

Mr Johnson said it was the the only way to avert bleak Sage predictions of 85,000 deaths this winter.

He warned it that happened it would force doctors to choose between saving Covid sufferers and those with other illnesses. 

He said: 'No responsible PM can ignore the message of those figures. We've got to be humble in the face of nature.'

A UK Government spokesperson said: 'As the Prime Minister said on Saturday, essential shops will remain open, so there is no need to stock up. Our message to everyone is that people should be considerate in the way they shop.

'The UK has a highly resilient food supply chain which held up well in the spring, and will do so again.

'We continue to work closely with food retailers and the food industry as we have done throughout the response to the coronavirus pandemic. They report no overall supply issues.'

Key points in COVID lockdown Mark 2 

People can only leave their homes for specific reasons, such as to do essential shopping, for outdoor exercise, and for work if they are unable to work from home.Non-essential shops will be told to shutRestaurants and bars will be told to close unless they can operate a takeaway service. Travel abroad is only permitted for 'essential' reasons such as work, people can still return to the UK from abroad. Leisure centres, gyms, sporting venues, hairdressers and beauty parlours will have to close, although professional sport will continue. Key businesses that cannot operate remotely - such as construction - should carry on as before.Places of worship can stay open for private prayer. Funerals are limited to close family only.  The furlough scheme will be extended during the period of the lockdown Exercise is permitted with no limits on frequency, but organised sports - including outdoor activities such as golf - will not be permitted. 
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