Irish government urges public NOT to panic buy following nationwide lockdown

Irish government urges public NOT to panic buy following nationwide lockdown

THE GOVERNMENT has issued an appeal to the public not to panic buy and stockpile items amid coronavirus fears.

Leo Varadkar made the announcement yesterday that the country would go into lockdown as of yesterday evening, with schools, colleges and childcare services all shut down temporarily.

The government were however quick to stress that supply chains would not be affected, urging the public to buy what they need but not to resort to stockpiling.

Health Minister Simon Harris insisted that Irish citizens "are better than that",

"The reason this is presumably happening is that people in our country are worried, and they want to make provision for themselves, for their family and particularly perhaps for their older and vulnerable relatives."

He added that stockpiling "could have unintended consequences" of taking products that others may require.

"Irish people wouldn't want this ... we're better than that," he said.

12/03/2020 Governemt Press conf. Pictured Fine Gael Minister for Health Simon Harris with Minister for Foreign Affairs and Tanaiste Simon Coveney at Government Buildings Dublin after the Taoiseach Leo Varadkar made his speech in Washington about COVID-19 (Coronavirus) situation in Ireland. The Taoiseach has said the country's schools, colleges and childcare facilities are to close in response to the Covid-19 pandemic. From 6pm today, schools, colleges and childcare facilities will close. In relation to cultural institutions, indoor gatherings of more than 100 people will not be permitted and a maximum outdoor gathering of 500 people will be allowed. Photo: Sam Boal/

Business Minister Heather Humphreys echoed Harris' words, stressing that there’s plenty of stock available.

"I met with the retailer and they have assured me that here is sufficient supply chains," she said.

"If people go out and buy products they don’t need to stockpile they’re going to cause a problem.

"So i would say there’s no need to do that."

When asked if any limits would be placed on the purchase of certain products, Mr Harris replied: "That's something I don't think should be necessary but nevertheless I will be talking to them [retailers] later on.

"I'm in constant contact with all of the retailers and we will discuss that issue with them."

Tánaiste Simon Coveney said there had been concern before a possible no-deal Brexit that medicines would have to be stockpiled.

"We were reassuring people that the supply chains were strong, and that they did not need to do that. That is the position now as well."

He said: "The food industry and the retail industry has given reassurance and that they have supply chains that are robust, that can continue to supply shops and shelves.

"Consumers should realise that actually their actions could contribute to the problem here, as opposed to there being a fundamental problem in supply chain which there isn't."