Pictures show epic queues outside supermarkets as Brits continue to stockpile during coronavirus crisis

Andy WellsFreelance Writer
Yahoo News UK
Shoppers queue outside a CostCo in Watford. (SWNS)
Shoppers queue outside a CostCo in Watford. (SWNS)

Despite supermarkets introducing strict measures to control panic buying amid the coronavirus crisis, shops were still faced with huge queues this morning.

Customers were pictured with trolleys standing outside Britain’s major supermarket chains on Thursday as they waited for doors to open.

Dedicated hours were introduced in some shops this week so that those in need of essential items would be able to buy them before shelves cleared.

People queue to shop at Sainsbury's supermarket where the store had announced that the first hour of opening would be for elderly and vulnerable customers. (PA)
People queue to shop at Sainsbury's supermarket where the store had announced that the first hour of opening would be for elderly and vulnerable customers. (PA)
Empty shelves inside a Sainsburys supermarket in Watford as the spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) continues, Watford, Britain, March 19, 2020. REUTERS/Paul Childs
Empty shelves inside a Sainsburys supermarket in Watford as the spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) continues, Watford, Britain, March 19, 2020. REUTERS/Paul Childs
People queue outside of a Costco store in Watford, as the spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) continues, Britain, March 19, 2020. REUTERS/Paul Childs
People queue outside of a Costco store in Watford, as the spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) continues, Britain, March 19, 2020. REUTERS/Paul Childs
People queue outside of a Costco store in Watford, as the spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) continues, Britain, March 19, 2020. REUTERS/Paul Childs
People queue outside of a Costco store in Watford, as the spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) continues, Britain, March 19, 2020. REUTERS/Paul Childs

Limitations on the number of items people can buy to ease stockpiling pressures amid the Covid-19 outbreak have also introduced.

Last week, Boris Johnson urged Brits to “behave sensibly” and not panic buy or hoard items like toilet rolls and soap so that everyone is able to purchase them.

People queue outside of a Costco store in Watford, as the spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) continues, Britain, March 19, 2020. REUTERS/Paul Childs
People queue outside of a Costco store in Watford, as the spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) continues, Britain, March 19, 2020. REUTERS/Paul Childs
The empty fruit and vegetable section at an Asda store in Watford. (Reuters)
The empty fruit and vegetable section at an Asda store in Watford. (Reuters)

The government said they would do all they could to ensure shelves would be stocked, including authorising a temporary relaxation, until April 16, of the drivers' hours rules to help deliver goods to stores across the country.

Shoppers queued outside Sainsbury’s in Leamington Spa on Thursday morning. The store announced that the first our of opening would be for elderly and vulnerable people.



Shoppers queue round the block to get into a Watford branch of Costco. (Reuters)
Shoppers queue round the block to get into a Watford branch of Costco. (Reuters)

Sainsbury’s shoppers gathered outside stores across the country on Thursday morning, despite the company saying they would only open to the elderly and vulnerable for the first hour of trading on Thursday.

Chief executive Mike Coupe add that stores will open for an hour longer so other shoppers do not miss out – but it did not stop the queues.

Outside a Watford branch of Costco, shoppers lined up on the road with trolleys to stock up on supplies before the shelves were stripped bare.

Waitrose customers were at the store first thing in the morning to stock up. (Reuters)
Waitrose customers were at the store first thing in the morning to stock up. (Reuters)
Sainsbury's in St Albans saw queues stretch outside the store. (Reuters)
Sainsbury's in St Albans saw queues stretch outside the store. (Reuters)

Customers lined up through a Waitrose car park as they waited for the doors to open – eager to buy groceries before the store ran out of essentials.

Queues stretched the length of the car park at a St Albans branch of Sainsbury’s as customers waited for the hour dedicated to the elderly and vulnerable to end.

Latest coronavirus news, updates and advice

Live: Follow all the latest updates from the UK and around the world

Fact-checker: The number of Covid-19 cases in your local area

Explained: Symptoms, latest advice and how it compares to the flu

What to Read Next