Morrisons begins rationing toilet roll over fears of ‘second wave’ panic buying

Supermarket giant Morrisons has started rationing essential items including loo roll and disinfectant over fears of "second wave" panic buying.

Purchases will be restricted to three items per customer "on a small number of products," the firm announced, as the UK records the third-largest jump in Covid-19 cases since the pandemic began.

Frantic shoppers were pictured panic-buying once again on Wednesday evening as photos emerged of toilet roll aisles stripped bare across major supermarkets.

Hundreds of frustrated shoppers around the country were met with empty shelves as they try to do their supermarket shops – mainly in the toilet roll aisles.

It comes just days after Prime Minister Boris Johnson gave a statement announcing new restrictions to curb the spread of coronavirus.

A spokesperson for Morrisons told ITV News there is plenty of stock available, saying: "We are introducing a limit on a small number of key products, such as toilet roll and disinfectant.

"Our stock levels of these products are good but we want to ensure that they are available for everyone."

Supermarkets including Asda, Morrisons, Sainsbury's, and Tesco are expected to impose restrictions on buying essential items, such as loo roll, in bulk.

Tesco CEO Dave Lewis branded panic buying as "unnecessary" on Wednesday, adding that it "creates a tension in the supply chain" which is easily avoided.

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In Morrisons in Leicester on Monday, Sarah Milnes snapped an almost entirely empty shelf where multi-packs of toilet roll should have been found.

The midwife described the scene in a tweet as "utter madness".

Meanwhile, in Sainsbury's in Warrington, Cheshire, a man named Daniel – who did not wish to give his surname – was met with a similar situation, with the majority of the loo roll cleared off the shelves.

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The 28-year-old joked that shoppers are "obviously s***ting themselves".

And in Asda in Pipps Hill, Essex, Daniel Smith shared a photo of an even emptier stack of shelves where toilet roll should have been, while he was doing his shop between 7pm and 8pm on Monday evening.

Daniel wrote: "The shop was packed, unordinarily so for 7pm, so people were already panic-buying.

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"This was about three hours after the mere threat of a lockdown.

"The public need to calm down and stop panic-buying essentials."

Meanwhile, Twitter account Vape Nation eSports called on Lidl to start putting restrictions on food and other essential items, as the store's shelves are "already starting to empty".

The account wrote: "At Werrington Lidl in Peterborough, Cambs, three-quarters of the toilet paper was gone, all rice was gone, hardly any pasta left, cans were depleted.

"This is now when panic-buying has barely started, give it a week and it will be chaos."

A customer service representative from Lidl responded, writing: "Our stores do have a limit of six units per customer, however, our store managers may use their discretion to set this limit where necessary."

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