"No reason to panic" as Salisbury shops start rationing

"No reason to panic" as Salisbury shops start rationing

Published by Jack Deery at 12:06pm 10th March 2020.

3 minute read

Things like soap and toilet roll are being limited to a certain number per shopper in some stores.

The government's chief scientific adviser, Sir Patrick Vallance, has said there is "absolutely no reason" for the British public to panic buy food or other supplies. 

As a result of the outbreak of coronavirus, many Salisbury shops have seen empty shelves as people have been stockpiling certain products.

Some stores are now trying to prevent shoppers from 'bulk-buying'.  

For example, Tesco Metro in Castle Street is limiting customers with some items, including pasta: 

Tesco Salisbury Rationing March 2020

While Superdrug in The Maltings are telling customers they can only buy a certain amount of hand sanitiser: 

Superdrug Salisbury Hand Sanitizer March 2020

Meanwhile hand wash was stolen from a wall dispenser at Salisbury District Hospital. 

Hospital bosses have branded the act as selfish. 


Stocks have been affected at most major supermarkets around England, including Tesco, Asda, Waitrose, Aldi, Lidl and Sainsbury's.

Tesco have tweeted to say they are taking a "common-sense" approach after many shoppers have complained about the lack of items: 

Online retailer Ocado are also warning people to get their shopping done earlier, as they're seeing bigger orders per customer. 

Many of their products are also restricted including:

  • Two packs of toilet roll
  • Two bottles of antibacterial gel
  • Three bottles of Calpol

Starbucks stores around the country, including the shop in Salisbury, are also taking action as a result of the outbreak.

They are "temporarily pausing" the use of their reusable cups:

Starbucks Salisbury Cup Rationing March 2020


On Friday, the government pledged the public will continue to have "the food and supplies they need".

Environment secretary George Eustice held talks with supermarket and trade body bosses over food supply contingencies and said he was reassured retailers were taking "all the necessary steps" to keep shelves well-stocked.

He said: 

"The retailers reassured me they have well-established contingency plans and are taking all the necessary steps to ensure consumers have the food and supplies they need.

Retailers are continuing to monitor their supply chains and have robust plans in place to minimise disruption."

Sainsburys in Salisbury with empty shelves and purchasing advice
Sainsbury's in Salisbury is one of many stores to have empty shelves

Mr Eustice added that the government and the industry will remain in regular contact on the issue.


The latest information from the health service is as follows: 


  • Wash your hands with soap and water often – do this for at least 20 seconds
  • Always wash your hands when you get home or into work
  • Use hand sanitiser gel if soap and water are not available
  • Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or your sleeve (not your hands) when you cough or sneeze
  • Put used tissues in the bin straight away and wash your hands afterwards
  • Try to avoid close contact with people who are unwell


  • Touch your eyes, nose or mouth if your hands are not clean

You can also use the NHS 111 online service, or call 111 to speak to someone. 

Visit the NHS website for more information, or alternatively visit Spire FM's advice page

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