Coronavirus map LIVE: Britain faces war-time food rationing – ‘Public CAN’T be trusted’

Coronavirus map LIVE: Britain faces war-time food rationing – ‘Public CAN’T be trusted’

Boris Johnson could move to introduce food rationing if Britons fail to exercise restraint when shopping, an academic expert has claimed. Bryce Evans, associate professor of history and politics at Liverpool Hope University, has called on authorities to look at the lessons learned from the First and Second World Wars to combat any potential shortages during the coronavirus pandemic. He warned history proves simply telling people not to be selfish or stockpile is futile.

Mr Evans, who has written extensively on nutrition and public feeding in times of war, has claimed a new Ministry of Food could be introduced to ensure essential supplies can be delivered via online shopping and paid for with “ration coupons”.

He told FEMAIL: “There’s a risk we’re still not taking this crisis seriously enough when it comes to our food supply.

“There needs to be a big shift in current consumption behaviours, because it’s a matter of weeks before things start to become a real problem if we continue in the same vein.

“And I can see rationing on the horizon. Both wars show us that what the government is doing right now – telling people not to panic buy, to voluntarily curtail consumption – just doesn’t work, sadly.

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“It has to be followed up with a clear, government-led rationing system of essential goods.

“This was previously done in collaboration with retailers and it can be replicated again, accompanied by price controls and greater penalties for the worst racketeers and black marketeers.

“Rationing can’t be left up to poor old supermarket checkout staff, who have to deal with anger and arguments – the government must step in.

“The online ration system would also seem likely since we do not want scenes like at the weekend, where hundreds of people descend on a supermarket at the same time, because this increases the risk of transmission greatly.”


7.52am update: 560,000 sign up to volunteer for NHS 

Health Secretary Matt Hancock has revealed over half a million Britons have signed up as NHS volunteers.

He wrote on Twitter:  “NEWS: Fantastic that 560,000 people have now responded to our call to volunteer to support our NHS to defeat #Coronavirus.”

On Tuesday the Government announced it would try to recruit 250,000 people.

7.41am update: Government insists Prince Charles did not get preferential treatment 

Edward Argar, the health minister, has insisted Prince Charles did not receive preferential treatment by getting a coronavirus test before many NHS workers. 

He told Sky News: “We’ve already done over 97,000 tests at the moment. That’s one of the highest figures around the world. But there is clearly more to do.

“We’re ramping up the capacity to do those tests as fast as we can. Key workers, frontline NHS and social care workers, are at front of the queue for that.

“The Prince of Wales didn’t jump the queue, we are focused on making sure that we ramp up those tests around the country for our frontline workers.:

When asked why Prince Charles was able to get tested, Mr Argar said: “My understanding is that his symptoms, his condition, met that criteria.”

Published at Thu, 26 Mar 2020 07:17:00 +0000