As panic buying continues to clear the shelves of supermarkets, many people have taken to online delivery services from their favourite shops in an effort to get the essentials they need.

And as government measures tighten up around social distancing and self isolation for those showing symptoms, online deliveries will be more important than ever.

We've put together what you need to know about which supermarkets deliver, how long deliveries take, which items are out of stock and how it works if you’re self isolating.

  • Tesco

Tesco offers home delivery and if you’re in self isolation, you can let the delivery driver know this in advance.

However, there are no home delivery slots available on the Tesco website at the time of writing (March 18).

There are some slots available for click and collect, with a booking fee that ranges between free and £2.

On the Tesco website, many items are currently unavailable, like some brands of toilet paper, dried pasta and rice.

This information could change depending on your postcode and your local shop - check online at the Tesco website.

  • Sainsbury’s

As it stands, Sainsbury’s is still offering online delivery, however delivery slots are scarce.

According to Sainsbury's website, there are no available delivery slots until Tuesday 7 April, which is the furthest in advance you could book a slot. You can’t check delivery availability beyond that date.

Alternatively, depending on your location, you could book a click and collect slot for groceries.

This information could change depending on your postcode and your local shop - check online at the Sainsbury's website.

  • Iceland

Iceland does offer home delivery services, but there are no available slots until after Tuesday, March 24, but you cannot book a delivery that far in advance.

On the Iceland website, many household items like toilet paper and kitchen rolls are out of stock.

This information could change depending on your postcode and your local shop - check online at the Iceland website.

  • What about Asda and Morrisons?

At time of publishing, Wednesday, March 18, due to a high volume of traffic to their website, some supermarket chains’ websites have gone down, including Asda, Waitrose and Morrisons.

It’s expected that these websites will be back up and running soon, but due to the high volume of people trying to access these sites booking a delivery slot might prove difficult.

  • Online services like Ocado and Amazon

Amazon does have a grocery department on their website. This service is useful for bulk buying lots of food, as items tend to come in larger quantities, like six pack boxes of Batchelors Super Pasta, for example.

Ocado has dealt with a large amount of traffic - resulting in the online supermarket temporarily closing its website and app until Saturday, March 22.

Until Wednesday, March 19, when users clicked on the website, they were placed in a virtual queue and an estimated wait time. Some customers reported the estimated wait time is longer than two hours.

The page from Ocado also stated: “We have no new delivery slots for the next few days so please only wait if you are trying to edit an imminent order.”

  • Which chains don’t offer online delivery?

Brands like Aldi and Lidl don’t offer online delivery services for groceries.

M&S announced that from September 2020, you’ll be able to shop for online groceries in partnership with Ocado, but as it stands, there is no delivery service offered by M&S.

Coronavirus: the facts from the World Health Organisation and the NHS

  • What is coronavirus?

COVID-19 is a respiratory illness that can affect lungs and airways. It is caused by a virus called coronavirus.

  • What caused coronavirus?

The outbreak started in Wuhan in China in December 2019 and it is thought that the virus, like others of its kind, has come from animals.

  • How is it spread?

As this is such a new illness, experts still aren’t sure how it is spread. But.similar viruses are spread in cough droplets. Therefore covering your nose and mouth when sneezing and coughing, and disposing of used tissues straight away is advised. Viruses like coronavirus cannot live outside the body for very long.

  • What are the symptoms?

The NHS states that the symptoms are: a dry cough, high temperature and shortness of breath - but these symptoms do not necessarily mean you have the illness. Look out for flu-like symptoms, such as aches and pains, nasal congestion, runny nose and a sore throat. It’s important to remember that some people may become infected but won’t develop any symptoms or feel unwell.

  • What precautions can be taken?

Washing your hands with soap and water thoroughly. The NHS also advises to cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or your sleeve (not your hands) when you cough or sneeze; put used tissues in the bin immediately and try to avoid close contact with people who are unwell. Also avoiding touching eyes, nose and mouth unless your hands are clean.

  • Government advice

As of March 12, the Government has moved into the "delay" phase of its plan to tackle coronavirus. Advice is that anyone with a continuous cough or high temperature should self-isolate for seven days. People over 70 have been advised not to go on cruises and schools advised to cancel trips abroad, though schools remain open.

  • Should I avoid public places?

Most people who feel well can continue to go to work, school and public places and should only stay at home and self isolate if advised by a medical professional or the coronavirus service.

  • What should I do if I feel unwell?

Don’t go to your GP but instead call NHS 111 or look online at the coronavirus service that can tell you if you need medical help and what to do next.

  • When to call NHS 111

NHS 111 should be used if you feel unwell with coronavirus symptoms, have been in a country with a high risk of coronavirus in the last 14 days or if you have been in close contact with someone with the virus.