In general Newry supermarkets and shops have plentiful supplies of most items today despite one store reporting trade 'busier than Christmas'.

It's part of the 'new normal' we all find ourselves in at present due to coronavirus, with the widespread message being for everyone to just shop as normal, emphasising there is no food shortage.

A quick scour of several stores by today Saturday saw supplies of most items replenished with a plentiful supply of almost all food items. Individual stores occasionally had a shortage of one item, in one case no eggs were left on shelves and pastas were low in another store. A shortage of wipes and hand gels continues but again the recurring message is to wash your hands regularly with soap and water, of which there is certainly no shortage.

Hill Street, Newry (Stock photo)
Hill Street, Newry (Stock photo)

Smaller independent stores butchers and bakeries visited today also had a plentiful supply of almost everything.

It follows incidents of 'panic buying' on Thursday and Friday after a shutdown was announced south of the border. This saw the retail supply chain stretched to the limit for many items including bread, frozen foods, pastas, rice, toilet rolls and nappies with empty shelves in many stores as people bought what they saw as essential items. Some stores have rationed the amount a shopper can buy of individual items.

Empty shelves in Tescos in Newry on Thursday. Photograph: Columba O'Hare/
Empty bakery shelves in Tescos in Newry on Thursday past. Photograph: Columba O'Hare/


Chief Pharmaceutical Officer Cathy Harrison has also released a statement saying there are no prescription medicine shortages and people should not stockpile.

“Covid-19 is presenting increasing challenges for the dedicated staff working in our community pharmacies.

“The Department is working to ensure that everyone continues to have access to their local community pharmacy. It is vital at this busy time that we are mindful of the pressure that community pharmacy staff are under.

“There is no need for you to do anything new or different when ordering or taking your medicines.

“People should order prescriptions and take their medicines as normal.

“Extra supplies should not be ordered from your doctor.

“Stockpiling or purchasing medication that you do not need is completely unnecessary and could disadvantage other patients.

“There are no prescription medicine shortages as a result of Covid-19."

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