SUPERMARKETS across Slough area have borne the brunt of the coronavirus outbreak, with many of their shelves emptied by panicked shoppers.

Shelves at Asda were half-empty on the weekend after HGV drivers have been 'pinged' to self-isolate across the UK.

Shoppers found there was a shortage of fizzy drinks and squash - ideal during this hot weather period.

The shortage of HGV drivers is not only being put down to them being 'pinged' by their Covid apps but also down to the fact that thousands of EU drivers left the UK at Christmas after Brexit and did not return.

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Retailers say they are under “increasing pressure” to keep shelves fully stocked amid staff shortages, industry bosses have warned.

At the start of the pandemic last March shoppers began to stockpile which meant many struggled to get hold of essential items and now supermarket bosses have moved to avoid a similar situation.

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Andrew Opie, director of food & sustainability at the British Retail Consortium, said staff in stores and suppliers should be allowed to work even if they get an alert to self-isolate.

“The ongoing ‘pingdemic’ is putting increasing pressure on retailers’ ability to maintain opening hours and keep shelves stocked,” he said.

“Government needs to act fast. Retail workers and suppliers, who have played a vital role throughout this pandemic, should be allowed to work provided they are double vaccinated or can show a negative Covid test, to ensure there is no disruption to the public’s ability to get food and other goods.

“With community cases soaring, the number of healthy retail staff having to self-isolate is rising fast, disrupting retail operations.”