SHOPPERS have still been hitting the shops for essentials today despite the start of lockdown - but they have taken heed of social distancing advice.

Long queues have been seen in the car park at Waitrose on Botley Road, Oxford, but customers have been standing at a respectful distance from one another.

The government has urged people to stay two metres away from anyone else when in a public space.

Waitrose said the number of customers allowed in at any one time will be limited so that social distancing can be observed, and a one in, one out policy will be operated when the shop is at capacity.

The sight makes a change from the frenzied crowds seen earlier in the week at some supermarkets.

READ AGAIN: Shoppers should avoid busy times and not queue

While people across the nation have been urged to stay at home amid the coronavirus pandemic, shopping for essentials is one of the few activities that people are allowed to leave for.

In Abingdon yesterday, before the lockdown commenced, Boots customers were seen patiently queuing along the Precinct.

Oxford Mail:

Picture: @KindCat3 on Twitter

ALSO READ: Which shops are still open today?

One person in the queue, tweeting from the @KindCat3 account, said it was a 'truly bizarre moment' - made even stranger when a man walked past with a parrot perched on his shoulder.

Kind Cat tweeted: "2m from others in the queue for 40 minutes to get prescription at Boots, Abingdon.

"Man walks past with a blue & yellow macaw parrot on his shoulder! Absolutely beautiful!"

Artist Imogen Foxwell also shared a drawing on Twitter of queues at East Oxford Market this week, but again they were standing at a distance.

Market organisers commended customers for sticking to the two-metre guidelines.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson last night urged people to have essential items delivered where possible, but many shops have filled their delivery slots for weeks in advance.