As crazed coronavirus crisis shoppers frantically panic-buy for all they are worth, frozen food favourite Iceland is having none of it – and is sticking up for older Brits.
Fed-up with selfish shoppers hoarding everything from bog roll to pasta, a branch of Iceland is starting the shopping equivalent of silver cinema to make sure grannies and granddads can get their groceries.
The branch in West Belfast is going to open between 8am and 9am every Tuesday just for the older generation to stock up on essentials amid the virus panic.
Iceland said: "Could the wider public please respect this hour, and understand that this time is allocated for elderly people only," Belfast Live reports.
Starting from March 17, any sprightly youths or sharp-elbowed mums trying to muscle in on the shelves of soap before 9am will be turned away at the door.
The heartwarming gesture has been applauded on social media including praise from celebrity chef Gino D'Acampo who tweeted: "I like this…..very cool."
Gino merged with Iceland last year to produce his own range of Italian frozen products including pizzas, meatballs and pasta dishes.
The move comes as the British Retail Consortium members sent a joint letter to consumers urging everyone to work together to ensure there is enough food for the country as panic buying sweep Britain.
Shoppers have been loading their trolleys with essentials including toilet paper, pasta and hand sanitiser as fears intensify over the spread of Covid-19.
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Retailers are currently working "round the clock" to help customers get the items they need, the BRC said.
Panic-buying has been so problematic that Aldi has put in restrictions so that shoppers will only be allowed to purchase four units of all products.
The company's customers have been stockpiling toilet roll, pasta, hand wash, sanitiser gels and pain killers leaving vulnerable people unable to buy what they need on their weekly shop.
Many other supermarkets have placed limits on high-demand items.
But it is thought Aldi is the first supermarket to place restrictions an all products.
In a statement on its Facebook page, Aldi said: "To our customers, 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.
"We are working closely with the Government and our suppliers to keep food moving quickly through the system and making more deliveries to our stores to ensure our shelves are stocked. Those of us with online delivery and click-and-collect services are running them at full capacity to help you get the products you need when you need them.
"We thank all our colleagues in stores and supply chains who are working day and night to keep the nation fed.
"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.
"We are doing all we can to rise to this challenge. Serving you and keeping you and everyone who works with us safe will always be our priority."
Firms are working closely with the Government and suppliers, and have arranged more store deliveries to ensure shelves are stocked, the letter added.
And outlets with online delivery and click-and-collect services are running them at full capacity.
Health Secretary Matt Hancock said all people over 70 will be asked to self-isolate for months to protect themselves from the killer bug.
He admitted it was a "very big ask", but it is for their own "self-protection".
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