Thousands of petrol stations have run dry amid frenzied panic buying as British ministers were warned their plan for solving the HGV driver shortage would not prevent bare shop shelves this Christmas.

Iran PressEurope: “With the intense demand seen over the past two days, we estimate that around 30% of sites in this network do not currently have either of the main grades of fuel,” BP said in a statement Sunday. The London-based company said most of its 1,200 sites in the U.K. remain supplied and open. 

A shortage of truck drivers, which had already left some British supermarkets unable to fill their shelves, began to hit fueling stations late last week. BP and Exxon Mobil Corp. were among companies saying the driver shortage had affected operations at their gas stations, while EG Group said it would limit customers to 30 pounds ($41) of fuel, enough to fill about one-third of a tank. 

The UK Government has announced a temporary visa scheme that will see 5,000 foreign HGV drivers and 5,500 poultry workers allowed into the UK on three-month contracts up to Christmas Eve in an attempt to keep supermarket shelves stocked with turkeys and tackle fuel delivery difficulties. 219