Alcohol aisles are now being stripped bare by panic buyers after Boris Johnson closed pubs and restaurants in a bid to stop the spread of coronavirus.
Boozy tipples have replaced toilet paper as the must-have product for British customers who are continuing to go on frenzied shopping sprees despite warnings from the government to stop panic-buying amid the Covid-19 pandemic.
The alcohol aisles in a Tesco in Hartlepool were noticeably stark this morning after the prime minister ordered the closure of all pubs, restaurants and cafes yesterday.
And shoppers across the UK have noticed a similar shortage in alcohol as selfish panic buyers continue to stockpile goods and ransack supermarket shelves.
One customer posted two pictures of completely bare alcohol aisles in a Sainsbury's in Kingston.
Jose Cabal uploaded the pictures with the caption: "People, panic buying is stupid and selfish.
"Taking it to the next level: Kingston's Sainsbury's."
Another user wrote: "Sainsbury's alcohol aisles were pretty empty tonight."
While another said: 'Watch this, with the pubs closed, bet the shops' alcohol aisles will be bare as well.'
Neil Humphreys said: "And we thought the toilet-roll panic buying was bad. Wait till you see the alcohol aisles tomorrow!"
Another social media user wrote: "No drinking or eating establishments open. Cue lift-off on takeaways and empty shelves in supermarkets in the alcohol aisles."
Britons woke up to a shut-down nation today after Boris Johnson ordered all pubs, restaurants, clubs, gyms and cinemas to close in a drastic ramping up of measures to stem the spread of the deadly infection, which has killed 178 and infected 4,072.
As people prepare to retreat indoors, people also appear to be stocking up on booze, with wine, beer and spirits flying off the shelves in supermarkets today.
And Brits are putting the booze to use by meeting up with friends online with video calls.
Home-drinking has almost doubled to 100 million pints a week since the coronavirus outbreak.
Millions are expected to join the phenomenon as at-home drinkers knock back pints in front of their phones' video-conferencing apps showing friends doing the same.
Britain's top psychologist Sir Cary Cooper backed living room booze-ups to help plug the gap left by pubs closing, saying social connection would boost mental health.
At-home beer consumption is set to almost double from 60 million pints a week to up to 100 million a week after pubs shut.
Brits drink around 60 million pints at home and 65 million in the pub in an average week, British Beer and Pub Association supermarket and off-licence sales data indicated, but pints drunk at home will soar after the pub shutdown, retail insiders say.
Bath University's student union is running virtual pub quizzes for 500 people.
Locals' pub The Alexandra in Wimbledon, south London, will run its weekly quiz online.
The mad shopping spree has seen heartbreaking scenes of elderly people and exhausted frontline NHS staff standing helplessly beside empty shelves, prompting chains including Sainsbury's and M&S to set aside a golden hour where they can buy essentials before the masses stampede the store.
A Marks & Spencer shop in Cribbs Causeway, Bristol, was among the first shops to call in police to help ensure older shoppers could use the hour set aside for them.
Asda and Aldi have hired a sports security firm, Showsec, to protect against selfish panic buyers.
And some other 118 major stores across the UK have also requested to protection from customers who openly flout governmental advice to stop panic buying.
The staff, who are usually escorting boxers to the ring, have been employed to work from 5am to midday.
One Shosec worker told The Sun: "They cannot handle the trouble. They're calling us in to try and get some order back but it's going to be a mammoth task."
Supermarkets are desperately trying to keep up with the demand in order to prevent the elderly and NHS staff and emergency workers from having to go without as a result of other selfish shoppers.
Tesco is even hiring 20,000 shelf stackers on 12-week contracts, while Aldi is aiming for 9,000 and Asda for 5,000.
Most supermarkets have started limiting purchases and are trying to get shoppers down to just two or three items of food, toiletries and cleaning products.
Waitrose has started a $2 million community support fund to make sure essential items are delivered to care homes.
Professor Joshua Bamfield, director of the Centre for Retail Research, said: "Home drinking is doing well, with a bigger share of pubs" drinking moving to home drinking.
"Panic-buying means some people have a lot of alcohol at home."
Professor Sir Cary Cooper, president of the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development, and professor of organisational psychology at Manchester Business School, said: "Brits love the social connection of going to the pub – but we can still get that connection in a virtual pub. It's still face-to-face.
"The best way to boost your spirits now is to talk to someone, and that can be done face-to-face over the internet while having a drink.
"This crisis is actually bringing communities together in new ways. In the long run, it will have positive effects on society."