Coronavirus outbreak: Brits face months of chaos with concerts axed and supermarkets emptied

Containment measures could be in place for a 'long period'

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Britain is reportedly facing months of chaos caused by the ongoing coronavirus outbreak, as schools go into lockdown, gigs are put on hold and sporting events are cancelled.

According to Professor Chris Whitty, Chief Medical Officer for England, if the virus “intensifies” then the UK will need to consider axing mass gatherings in a bid to contain the spread of the deadly flue-like virus.

Glastonbury Festival 2017
Could mass gatherings like Glastonbury be put on hold? (Credit:

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Popular festivals such as Glastonbury could be impacted in an emergency shutdown, as could sporting events like the Grand National, big Premier League football matches, the FA Cup final and the London Marathon.

Professor Whitty warned, as reported by The Sun: “We are not saying we will do them, but we have to look at all of them.

Chris Whitty, Chief Medical Officer for England
Prof. Whitty said containment measures could be in place for a “long period of time” (Credit: Public Health England / YouTube)

“One of the things that’s really clear with this virus, much more so than flu, is that anything we do we’re going to have to do for quite a long period of time, probably more than two months.”

Speaking further, the Chief Medical Officer said that with the implications being very much “non-trivial”, authorities will need to “think that through carefully”.

Anything we do we’re going to have to do for quite a long period of time.

He continued: “This is something we face as really quite a serious problem for society potentially if this goes out of control. It may not but if it does globally then we may have to face that.”

It comes amid reports that Brits are panic-buying essentials like food and medicine, fearful they will need everything stockpiled in the event they have to remain at home for long periods.

The Daily Mail reported that experts are worried stockpiling like this could become rife – and even lead to shortages of goods in our supermarkets.

A number of schools have had to close (Credit: AbacaPress /

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Ratula Chakraborty, University of East Anglia professor of business management, told the publication: “One big opportunity for the supermarkets may be home delivery, where online grocery retailers could see a bonanza as consumers shy away from visiting stores and instead prefer to shop from the safety of their own homes.

“There is no immediate need to stockpile or panic buy any goods, but people should be prepared to help out and shop for vulnerable relatives and friends who are elderly or have underlying conditions which places them at a greater risk of developing severe symptoms if the coronavirus spreads.”

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