Coronavirus live: Retailers call for ‘sensible shopping’ amid Covid-19 panic buying

Retailers are urging customers to shop responsibly during the coronavirus outbreak.

British Retail Consortium members sent a letter to consumers urging them to work together to ensure there is enough food for the country.

It comes as shoppers have raided the shelves in supermarkets around the country – including Stoke-on-Trent and North Staffordshire – panic-buying essentials such as toilet paper as fears intensify over Covid-19.

Latest figures from Public Health England show there are 1,140 confirmed Covid-19 cases and 21 deaths across the UK. Four people have been tested positive in Staffordshire and one in Cheshire East.

Retailers are currently working “round the clock” to help customers get the items they need, the BRC said.

The letter aims to reassure customers, while calling on them to support each other during the crisis.

It said: “We know that many of you are worried about the spread of coronavirus (Covid-19).

“We want to let you know that we are doing everything we can so that you and your families have the food and essentials you need.”

The letter added: “But we need your help too.

“We would ask everyone to be considerate in the way they shop.

“We understand your concerns, but buying more than is needed can sometimes mean that others will be left without.

“There is enough for everyone if we all work together.

“Together we can make sure we are looking out for family, friends, neighbours.

“Together we will care for those around us and those who are elderly, vulnerable or choosing to remain at home.”

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