- Supermarkets are struggling to meet an increase in demand caused by coronavirus panic-buying.
- Basic items like toilet roll and antibacterial hand gel have run out in stores as the public struggle to book a slot for online shopping.
- Now the UK government is considering plans to allow supermarkets to deliver food in the middle of the night as coronavirus panic-buying empties shelves in the country.
- Supermarkets are restricted as to when they can make home deliveries under UK law.
- The UK government said on Monday that it could relax these rules.
- Follow the latest news in the UK as coronavirus continues to spread.
- Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.
The UK government is considering plans to allow supermarkets to make home deliveries in the middle of the night, in order to tackle the panic-buying prompted by the spread of coronavirus across the UK.
Basic items like toilet rolls and hand-wash gel have emptied in stores across the UK in the past week, with shoppers struggling to book slots for home delivery.
The prime minister’s spokesperson said on Monday the UK government was now looking at allowing supermarkets to deliver groceries at anti-social hours to make sure Brits can get hold of essentials.
“If we can relax that [those rules] somewhat, it’s something supermarkets have raised with us and it gives them more flexibility,” the said.
A move to relax the rules would let supermarkets deliver groceries in the early hours of the morning.
Supermarkets have been forced to impose a limit on the number of staple items it sells to the public amid research showing that 10% of Brits have been stockpiling basic goods.
Hand sanitizer, antibacterial gels and sprays, handwash, dried pasta, long-life milk, toilet paper, and some tinned vegetables are among the items that supermarkets are limiting, according to reports.
Sir Patrick Vallance, the UK’s chief scientific adviser, has urged the public to not stockpile, saying last week Tuesday that there was “absolutely no reason” to do so.
There were 273 confirmed cases of coronavirus in the UK as of Monday morning, with three deaths linked to the virus.
Prime Minister Johnson’s spokesperson said on Monday that the UK government expected the virus to “spread in significant way” over the coming days and weeks.
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