Plea to stop panic buying 'frenzy' as Yorkshire police told by government there's plenty of food

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The chairman of West Yorkshire Police Federation has pleaded with the public to stop panic buying because police have been told there's plenty of food supply available.

Scenes of hundreds of shoppers ignoring social distancing advice were spotted across the country at the weekend, including this photo of hundreds of people lining up close together at Tesco in Leeds.

On Friday, government announced a raft of measures aimed at helping tackle the issue, including relaxing rules around lorry drivers and working with supermarkets to impose purchase limits on items.

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Brian Booth, chairman of West Yorkshire Police Federation, said: “Stop panic buying. I think some people are looking at social media and working themselves into a frenzy instead of paying attention to traditional media.

Supermarkets have struggled to keep up with demand due to panic buyersSupermarkets have struggled to keep up with demand due to panic buyers
Supermarkets have struggled to keep up with demand due to panic buyers

People see others panic buying and they follow suit which creates a problem. The government says there is plenty of food.

“I think people must think we get different information to the public in our briefings. We don’t. We get told the same as everyone else, that there is plenty of food in the supply chains.”

Mr Booth also commented on groups of youths being seen gathered in public, flouting social distancing guidance, adding: "Get a grip on your kids."What is the current coronavirus advice?


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Everyone is being told to stay home as much as possible, whether you have symptoms or not.

On Saturday pubs, clubs and bars were closed to help prevent large gatherings and reduce the risk of the virus spreading, as far as possible. Anyone with a cough or any symptoms is being asked to self-isolate for 14 days, while the advice to everyone is to minimise social contact as much as possible, and to only travel if absolutely essential.

Workers have been told to work from home if they can and to avoid going out in public other than for exercise. If you have to go out for food or a walk in an open public space, you must maintain at least two metres' distance to all others at all times.

Everyone should also be washing their hands for at least 20 seconds with soap and hot water before leaving home and when returning, and wear gloves outdoors where possible.

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Those in vulnerable groups, such as those who need a flu jab or are over 70, are being told to be extra cautious and also isolate themselves.