Boris Johnson addressed the nation as the coronavirus death toll rose to 144 overnight, to give further updates on the growing pandemic of covid-19. The Prime Minister addressed how long the UK will be plagued by the pandemic and revealed he expects to “turn the tide” on the virus with the next 12 weeks, but he issued an urgent warning to nation.
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Prime Minister Boris Johnson addressed the nation in a live broadcast from 10 Downing Street this evening for the daily coronavirus press conference.
The PM told shoppers to be “considerate and thoughtful” amid the crisis and urged people to avoid “mass buying”.
He said: “On mass buying and the price issue, I really hope that retailers will continue to be reasonable. I certainly wouldn’t want to see profiteering of any kind.”
He added: “As I said before, we’ve got good supply chains farm to fork – there’s no reason for the shops really to be empty.
“Please be reasonable, please be reasonable in your shopping, be considerate and thoughtful for others as you do it”.
During the press conference, the Prime Minister said he expects Britain to tackle the virus in the next 12 weeks.
He said: “We can turn the tide within the next 12 weeks but only we all take the steps that we have outlined.
“That is how we are going to reduce the peak.”
He told people to carry on washing their hands and that the country is “making progress” already.
In regards to pubs and restaurants, the Prime Minister revealed he won’t close them for bow but he “won’t rule it out” in the future.
He said: “We’re guided very much by the science and if the advice we’ve given is working.
“If we feel it isn’t working and we have to bring forward tougher measures.
“I know it’s tough and I know it’s difficult but we’ve just got to do it together.”
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News of UK supermarkets being left empty shelved have been circulating in the media over the last couple of days, and many supermarkets have been forced to implement serious measures to prevent people from stockpiling on essential items.
Tesco has announced that all its 24-hour stores will reduce their hours from last night. The supermarket also announced all of its stores will be open between 6am and 10pm every day to give staff more time to restock the shelves, which are being depleted quickly as shoppers stockpile.
It has also implemented a three-item limit on every product line per person to ensure more people have access to everyday essentials.
From today, Thursday 19 March, Tesco stores will close all meat, fish, deli counters and salad bars in order to focus on stocking shelves with essential groceries and avoid waste.
Tesco has also announced that to ensure more vulnerable and elderly customers can shop in-store, Tesco will prioritise one hour every Monday, Wednesday and Friday morning between 9am and 10am (except in Express stores) and ask that other customers respect this.
Dave Lewis, CEO of Tesco, released a statement earlier today to outline the changes and asked for help from the public during these difficult times.
CEO of Sainsbury’s Mike Coupe said he wanted to share the extra steps the supermarket is taking to make shopping easier amid the outbreak too.
He said last week many had shared their concerns about elderly and vulnerable customers, asking if the supermarket could do more to restrict the number of items each person can buy.
So starting today, Thursday March 19, all Sainsbury’s stores will set aside the first hour for elderly and vulnerable customers. And from Monday 23rd March elderly and vulnerable customers will have priority access to online delivery slots, grocery products and a maximum of two on the most popular products including toilet paper, soap and UHT milk.
To help get more essential items onto the shelves, from Thursday, March 19, the supermarket will be closing cafes and meat, fish and pizza counters also.
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