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Panic buying starts again as shelves stripped of toilet roll ahead of local lockdowns

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Pictures show the shelves of an Asda store in Cardiff emptied of toilet rolls today in scenes reminiscent of what happened before the lockdown in March.

The Asda store in Llanelli looked very similar on Friday evening with the toilet roll stocks looking depleted.

An apparent repeat of the panic buying has come after certain areas of Wales have gone back into a second lockdown like some other areas of the country.

Cardiff, Swansea and Llanelli are all in lockdown once more to help prevent the spread of coronavirus, reports Wales Online.

Tesco has reintroduced purchasing limits for popular products such as toilet rolls, pasta and flour to prevent its shelves becoming bare, saying on Friday that a number of products will be restricted to three items per customer in a repeat of rationing seen at the start of the pandemic.

Flour, dried pasta, toilet roll, baby wipes and anti-bacterial wipes will have purchasing limits in stores, it said. Rival supermarket Morrisons became the first big grocer to bring back rationing on Thursday, announcing purchasing limits on a raft of cleaning products.

And Asda has said it would be reintroducing marshals to the front of their stores and supermarket aisles to ensure coronavirus measures are being adhered to. Asda updated shopper with their new measures on Friday.

Cardiff, Swansea and Llanelli will go into local lockdown this weekend as Wales’ faces rising numbers of coronavirus infections. In March, toilet roll was cleared from the aisles and hand sanitiser was also running low in many supermarkets and pharmacists. Shelves which would normally have stocked pasta, flour and tinned tomatoes were also consistently empty.

However, Tesco, Asda, Sainsbury’s, Lidl and Aldi told PA they had “good availability” on Monday and have not experienced any shortages as of yet. Tesco added that its online capacity had almost doubled from 600,000 weekly delivery slots in March, to 1.5 million in September.

Earlier this week, a director at the British Retail Consortium (BRC) has urged consumers to be considerate of others and “shop as you normally would” – though he added supply chains are currently “stronger than ever”.

“Nonetheless, we urge consumers to be considerate of others and shop as they normally would.”

He added that retailers have done an “excellent job” making sure customers have access to food throughout the pandemic, while installing perspex screens and other social distancing measures.

“As such, retail remains a safe space for consumers, even under future lockdowns,” he said

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