SUPERMARKETS across Bournemouth and Poole have borne the brunt of the coronavirus outbreak, with many of their shelves emptied by panicked shoppers.

After venturing into a variety of local supermarkets, it was evident that many people have been stocking up on the 'essentials' in preparation for potential isolation and reduction in supply chains.

Sainsbury's in Pitwines Close, Poole seemed to have suffered the most, with only two packs of large toilet rolls left in the entire store, along with a minimal number of soap, empty antibacterial product boxes and practically no pasta on their shelves.

Many customers were in pursuit of toilet roll but had to make a u-turn once they realised the shelves were empty.

Chief Executive of the British Retail Consortium, Helen Dickinson OBE said: "Our members are working hard to ensure consumers have access to the products they need. Even where there are challenges, retailers are well-versed in providing effective measures to keep retail sites running smoothly, and they are working with suppliers to increase the supply of goods.

"Retailers are currently facing a rise in demand for certain products unprecedented outside of the Christmas period. However, this is largely been limited to hygiene and longer shelf-life food products."

She added: "The BRC and its members are also working with the Government to find ways to mitigate the impact of coronavirus. Together we are looking at ways of supporting all consumers, including those who are self-isolating.

"The BRC has given government a list of regulations where relaxation would ease pressure in the supply chain, including extending drivers hours and giving flexibility on delivery times to stores."

Aldi in Poole also had a minimal number of toilet rolls in-store and Tesco in Branksome had barely any antibacterial products, with many bottles of bleach and packets of antibacterial wipes cleared from the shelves.

Shoppers have been warned against bulk-buying and assured that there is "no need" to do it.

Culture Secretary, Oliver Dowden told BBC Breakfast: "There is absolutely no need for anybody to stockpile or anything like that.

"We are confident that the supermarkets have the supply chains necessary to keep shelves stocked for people, so there really is no need for that (bulk-buying) to happen."

Supermarkets have also implemented new plans to prevent stockpiling, with Tesco now restricting sales of essential food and household items.

Aldi is also limiting sales by reducing the purchasing of hand sanitiser to two per customer.

Hand sanitiser can only be bought in-store.

With more supermarkets implementing new restrictions, shoppers are urged not to panic and to shop sensibly.