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Photos show supermarket shelves empty but some people still in pubs despite official advice

Will Taylor
News Reporter
People gather in pubs, left, and a woman walks past empty shelves, right. (SWNS/PA Images)

Photos show how government coronavirus advice was defied in some places on Tuesday as pub-goers celebrated St Patrick’s Day and shoppers emptied out supermarkets.

Boris Johnson told the public to avoid pubs, restaurants and theatres on Monday in a bid to stop the coronavirus spreading.

The day after, he insisted supply chains were working fine and there was no need to stockpile or panic buy.

But shelves have been cleared out and pictures showing people enjoying pints at the local show that advice hasn’t been heeded by all. The instructions remain advice and have not been enforced by law.

People celebrate St Patrick's Day at a Bristol Pub, a day after the government advised people to avoid social venues. (SWNS)

Pictures from Bristol and Birmingham showed drinkers enjoying St Patrick’s Day in what could be the last blowout for a while as the possibility of further restrictions on public life was raised by the prime minister.

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Pub-goers went to a Bristol tavern where they enjoyed live music, while drinkers in Birmingham went to a Wetherspoons.

Visitors to a Wetherspoons in Birmingham went the day after Boris Johnson advised to keep away. (SWNS)

The advice against going to venues came as the government tried to introduce more social distancing to slow the coronavirus spread.

“You should avoid pubs, clubs, theatres and other such social venues,” Johnson said on Monday.

Government rules have allowed pubs to transform into takeaways to help keep them afloat financially.

Similarly, as shoppers will be aware, supermarkets and smaller stores have been raided for supplies with photos of empty shelves being posted online for several days.

A woman looks at empty shelves in a Sainsbury's store in London, as coronavirus continues to affect the UK with the UK death toll reaching 71 people.
Empty toilet roll shelves in Asda Hyson Green in Nottingham.Photo credit should read: James Warwick/EMPICS Entertainment.

It has led to fears that people who have run out of items that desperately need them will struggle.

The BBC quoted Mr Johnson on Tuesday as saying: “We are absolutely confident our supply chains are working, and will work, and we will get farm to fork food supplies.

“Therefore people should have no reason to stockpile or panic buy.”

Supermarkets in the UK have been rationing certain items to try and prevent them selling out in panic buys.