Huge queues hit toy shops as worried parents already start Xmas panic buying

Swathes of shoppers have been stocking up on toys sparking fears shelves could be empty at Christmas.

Pictures have surfaced showing “crazy” queues of shoppers stockpiling children’s goodies at a Smythes Toy Superstore.

Lines stretched right outside the store as manic buyers waited to get through the doors at outlets in Dublin and Cork.

One witness who works nearby, Dave Dalton, said an army of Covidiots 40 or 50 strong queued out onto the street.

And one shopper, named Tony Smyth, said he waited half an hour to get through the doors.

The panic buying was sparked by leaks on Sunday that authorities want to more Ireland onto alert four, according to reports.

If the level is upped to five, non-essential shops such as Smyths would have to close.

The National Public Health Emergency Team (NPHET) has expressed concern at a sudden rise in Covid-19 cases, according to the Irish Times.

Cabinet members in Ireland are set to meet on Monday following the shock recommendation that a second lockdown be imposed.

The three party leaders, Taoiseach Micheál Martin, Tanáiste Leo Varadkar and Green Party leader Eamon Ryan will meet Chief Medical Officer Dr Tony Holohan this morning.

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Opposition parties are set to be briefed after the Coalition leaders meet the CMO and are demanding to know the data which has led NPHET to recommend level 5.

Meanwhile, retailers warned of a Christmas toy shortage as orders online surged.

Parents were warned to slow down with the festive splurging after James Owen, of Rebo UK, said Covid-19 panic-buying would lead to empty stockings come Christmas.

He urged shoppers not to get carried away.

Owen, founder of Outdoor Toys told The Mirror: "We are already seeing a big surge in demand for children's outdoor play equipment — swings, slides, climbing frames, ride-on cars, trucks and quad bikes.

“We have many thousands of products in stock now and thousands more already on the way to our warehouse to cope with the Christmas period".

Elsewhere shops started limiting the sale of key items such as toilet role, flour and other key items.

Tesco and Morrisons stamped down on stockpilers by rationing its products.

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