Sainsbury’s warns of food shortages as ports closed

Traditional Christmas lunch already in the country, but some products could be missing soon.

Sainsbury’s warns of food shortages as ports closed Getty Images
Some foods could soon be missing from supermarket shelves.

Sainsbury’s has warned that some products could be missing from shelves due to restrictions at ports.

But the supermarket giant said food for a traditional Christmas lunch is available and already in the country.

France is among a number of European countries to implement travel restrictions in the wake of a new mutant strain of coronavirus sweeping through south-east England.

The country announced on Sunday it was suspending all traffic, including freight and passenger transport, from the UK for 48 hours, with Prime Minister Boris Johnson to chair a meeting of the government’s Cobra civil contingencies committee on Monday in an attempt to address the situation.

Thousands of lorries that were meant to travel across the English Channel on Monday have been told to stay away from Kent ports.

HGVs turning up at Dover on were greeted with signs saying “French borders closed”, and were being turned away.

A Sainsbury’s spokesperson said: “All products for the Great British Christmas lunch are already in the country and we have plenty of these.

“We are also sourcing everything we can from the UK and looking into alternative transport for product sourced from Europe.

“If nothing changes, we will start to see gaps over the coming days on lettuce, some salad leaves, cauliflowers, broccoli and citrus fruit – all of which are imported from the Continent at this time of year.

“We hope the UK and French governments can come to a mutually agreeable solution that prioritises the immediate passage of produce and any other food at the ports.”