Coronavirus: Plea to avoid panic buying, as supermarkets say ‘There is enough for everyone’

Empty shelves in Martlesham Heath Tesco Picture: ARCHANT

Empty shelves in Martlesham Heath Tesco Picture: ARCHANT - Credit: Sarah Lucy Brown

Supermarkets are sending out a plea to customers to just buy what they need - and assuring them there is no need for panic buying.

Depleted shelves in Lidl, London Road, Ipswich Picture: Marcia Simão

Depleted shelves in Lidl, London Road, Ipswich Picture: Marcia Simão - Credit: Marcia Simão

The call comes after many stores in Suffolk and Essex have seen shelves emptied of essentials like toilet roll and pasta, along with similar shortages in shops nationally.

Major store chains have jointly issued a message saying: 'We would ask everyone to be considerate in the way they shop.

'We understand your concerns but buying more than is needed can sometimes mean that others will be left without. There is enough for everyone if we all work together.'

The grocery chains which have issued the message include Sainsbury's, Tesco, Asda, Morrisons, Waitrose, Aldi, Lidl, Marks & Spencer, Iceland, Ocado, Costcutter and the Co-op.

The British Retail Consortium's open letter says: 'We know that many of you are worried about the spread of Coronavirus (Covid-19.) We want to let you know that we are doing everything we can so that you and your families have the food and essentials you need.'

READ MORE: Suffolk Coronavirus Updates - Join our Facebook groupIt adds that stores are working closely with the government and suppliers to keep food moving through the system, and making more deliveries to stores to ensure shelves are stocked, while online and click-and-collect services are operating to capacity.

The store chains thank colleagues in stores and supply chains 'who are working night and day to keep the nation fed.'

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The letter also says: 'Together we can make sure we are looking out for family, friends, neighbours.

'Together we will care for those around us and those who are elderly, vulnerable or choosing to remain at home.'

This weekend, many shoppers in Suffolk struggled to find enough of some everyday items, finding some shelves bare at local supermarkets.

However, some customers were still seen taking several bags of toilet rolls home from stores.