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Two-thirds of voters would back food rationing amid coronavirus outbreak, poll finds

2 min read

Two-thirds of the public would support the introduction of food rationing as the Government responds to the coronavirus outbreak, a new poll has found.

The YouGov study for the Sunday Times found that 63% of voters would back the dramatic move - as retailers warned Brits against panic buying goods.

More than half (52%) of voters now believe the Government should declare a state of emergency, according to the poll, with just 26% of those asked opposed.

The study also finds widespread support for more draconian measures to slow the disease's spread, including 58% in favour of halting all international travel into the UK and 83% backing testing of everyone entering the country.

More than three quarters (76%) of those asked also back the cancellation of mass events, a step set to be introduced by the Government this week.

The poll comes as the retail industry urged shoppers to limit their purchases, amid a scramble in some supermarkets to stock up on goods.

An unprecedented letter by the British Retail Consortium said: "We ask everyone to be considerate in the way they shop.

"We understand your concerns but buying more than is needed can sometimes mean that others will be left without. There is enough for everyone if we all work together."

Environment Secretary George Eustice will hold talks with supermarket bosses on Monday in a bid to ensure food supplies are safeguarded. 

Restrictions on online shopping deliveries have already been eased, while supermarket chain Aldi has moved to restrict shoppers to four items of every product.

Just 14% of those polled by YouGov said they had begun stockpiling goods, with tinned food, pasta and toilet roll given as the most-hoarded items.

The pollster also found that 45% of the public say they are worried about getting the virus, while 4% believe it is extremely or very likely that they will die from it.

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