It’s ‘essential’ Goods Friday: Lockdown shoppers queue for up to THREE HOURS to buy booze and food before supermarkets shut on Easter Sunday
- Queues at Asda Clapham Junction were seen snaking down and across the car park this afternoon in London
- It comes ahead of the four-day Easter bank holiday weekend as shoppers stock up on booze and food
- Shoppers are set to face even longer queues on Saturday as larger stores cannot open on Easter Sunday
- There had been calls for a relaxation of the rules because of ongoing problems caused by coronavirus crisis
Good Friday shoppers waited in ‘insane’ queues that formed outside supermarkets from dawn today to buy food and booze to see them through the four-day Easter bank holiday weekend.
Many had to wait in line for more than three hours as temperatures hit 25C (77f) on the hottest day of the year so far in scenes repeated up and down the UK.
But experts believe the delays will be even longer tomorrow because stores will be shut on Easter Sunday after the Government refused to relax the rules on religious holidays despite the coronavirus crisis.
Asda customers waiting to enter their superstore at Clapham Junction in South London were funnelled into an extraordinary chicane of upturned shopping trollies that snaked around its packed car park to maintain social distancing through the pandemic.
Similar long lines of people were seen in towns and cities all over Britain today – even though most were there before the doors opened at 8am this morning and are expected to be their until they close at 9pm tonight.
There were queues all the way around the car parks as people were asked to keep two metres apart as they waited to pick up their shopping trolleys – and then had to queue again to enter the store when someone else left.
London: Queue at Asda Clapham junction snakes across and down the car park before entering a chicane of upturned shopping trollies
Newcastle: Early morning shoppers queue outside waiting for the Sainsbury’s supermarket to open in Heaton,
West London: People observe social distancing in an attempt to stop the spread of coronavirus by standing behind tape lines as they queue up to shop outside a branch of the Tesco supermarket chain
Birmingham: There were also long queues outside Aldi in Maypole as people grabbed goods for the Easter weekend
Brighton: Shoppers queue early on Good Friday morning around the car park at the Asda supermarket in Hollingbury
Big supermarkets must close on Easter Sunday meaning shopper will face even LONGER queues on Saturday
Supermarket shoppers will face even longer queues on Saturday as government rules mean larger stores cannot open on Easter Sunday.
Rules passed down by the Department for Business say no shop larger than 280sq metres can open on Easter Sunday or Christmas Day.
Despite Britain being in a state of lockdown due to the coronavirus pandemic, a DfB spokesman said ‘existing rules still apply’.
Larger stores, including supermarkets, normally open on reduced hours on most Sundays, but twice a year they must close. On Easter Sunday and Christmas Day.
The rules do not apply in Scotland, however.
Sales of paddling pools and barbecues have skyrocketed in the lead up to the Easter weekend as Brits prepare for a sun-drenched lockdown in the back garden after police threatened to stomp out all non-essential travel.
Sunny forecasts for the weekend has seen sun loungers and parasols sell out on online websites, as officers warned they would go through peoples’ shopping for ‘non-essential items’ if they dared to venture outside to shop.
Amazon reported a 4,000 per cent rise in the sale of paddling pools in the last 24 hours, while Waitrose saw a threefold increase in the sale of yoga equipment as Brits
Brits are also continuing to load up on food and drink, with Hotel Chocolat revealing that it had seen a 400 per cent increase in online orders for Easter eggs, while Thorntons had seen a similarly ‘dramatic increase’.
Alcohol sales are still rising, too, with wine sales in supermarkets and corner shops jumping up by 22 per cent in March, according to consumer analysts Kantar.
Discount website Vouchercodes said it had seen a 445 per cent increase in the search for DIY equipment in the week-long lead up to the Easter weekend, as well as a 565 per cent rise in searches for gardening equipment.
Gateshead: Asda shoppers queue to the taxi ranks on Tyneside as they try to get goods in for Easter weekend
Putney: Shoppers queue outside a Tesco Extra supermarket in Purley as the UK prepares for an Easter bank holiday weekend on lockdown
Birmingham: Sainsbury’s shoppers wait patiently on the hottest day of the year in the south of Britain’s second city
Police forces across the country have been accused of being over-zealous in their Easter weekend crackdown as they threatened to check through people’s shopping, causing #policestateUK to trend on Twitter.
The warning saw Downing Street warn police today that ‘if a shop is open then it will sell whatever it has in stock’, while Home Secretary Priti Patel called on officers not to be ‘heavy-handed’ during the coronavirus lockdown.
It comes as Cambridge Police’s official Twitter account boasted that officers had visited a local superstore this morning to snoop on shoppers and found aisles selling non-essentials were ’empty’.
The tweet caused outrage from social media users, with many pointing to a post sent by the same account hours earlier thanking a local chocolate shop for dropping off a ‘generation donation of goodies’ at its police station.
Cambridge Police’s official Twitter account boasted this morning that officers had visited a local superstore and found aisles selling non-essentials such as barbecues and sun loungers were ’empty’
Former Prime Minister Theresa May queuing at her local Waitrose in Berkshire and adhering to social distancing rules
Our Girl Star Michelle Keegan seen making a lockdown shop in M&S in Essex today, wearing gloves to push her trolley
Helena Bonham-Carter also followed social distancing outside her local budgens in West London today
Moment Asda shopper is tackled to the ground by staff after ‘coughing on them saying he had coronavirus’
A male shopper was wrestled to the floor outside a supermarket in Kent after allegedly coughing on staff and saying he had coronavirus.
Police were called to the Asda Superstore in Greenhithe, Kent, on Tuesday April 7.
The man was arrested on suspicion of assault and racially aggravated public order.
In the video a man with a green top is heard yelling before being wrestled to the ground by a man in a red top.
A male shopper is wrestled to the floor (left) at the Asda Superstore, Greenhithe, Kent, after he allegedly coughed on staff and said he had coronavirus. More staff help restrain the man (right) when he is on the floor
The man, who has been released on bail until May 7, was heard yelling at staff who restrained him until police could arrive
Once the man is on the floor members of staff are seen to help restrain him.
The man is heard yelling: ‘Allow it. Leave me alone, you’re breaking my hand!’
It is alleged that the man spat and coughed at those who were restraining him during the incident.
Kent Police said: ‘Kent Police was called to a report of a disturbance at Asda supermarket in Crossways Boulevard, Greenhithe, at around 6.10pm on Tuesday April 7 2020.
‘Officers attended where a 32-year-old man of no fixed address was arrested on suspicion of two assaults and racially aggravated public order.
‘The man has been bailed until 7 May 2020.’
Witness Paul Killick said the man was ‘coughing and spitting on staff after he was taken down to the ground and telling them he has coronavirus.’