Shelves stripped bare across UK as Brits rush to panic-buy ahead of Christmas.


About eight million Britons were unable to purchase essential food for two weeks between September 22 and October 3, while one in six said they were struggling to find non-essential items, according to data tracked by the Office of National Statistics (ONS). 

Two-thirds of British shoppers polled by retail magazine The Grocer were worried or very worried at the prospect of food and drink shortages over Christmas.

Hundreds of thousands of British consumers have reportedly booked their delivery slots for Christmas. Nearly 22,000 slots had been reserved by lunchtime on the first day after supermarket chain Waitrose made dates available last week.

Britain has been struggling with a series of severe crises due to supply shortages attributed to several factors, including the Covid-19 pandemic, soaring gas prices, and breaching of trade and labour relations with the European Union.

Last week, London called in the army to help the authorities ease the fuel crisis by providing troops and transport to make deliveries to petrol stations after many of the outlets ran dry due to panic buying.

Earlier, the UK government issued more than 10,000 three-month visas for drivers of fuel tankers and food lorries, as well as poultry workers. The step was taken to tackle a severe labour crisis that has had an enormous negative impact on food retailers, fast-food chains, and distributors of fuels.

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