Now ‘CLAP FOR PETROL’! Social media users joke that Britons should applaud fuel station workers at 8pm on their doorsteps as country faces latest crisis

Social media users have joked that Britons should carry out a ‘clap for petrol’ this week by applauding fuel station workers at 8pm on their doorsteps.

One described the staff working amid the chaos as ‘modern day Tommies’ while others suggested singing ‘God Save the Queen’ while clapping every Thursday.

It follows the weekly ‘Clap for Carers’ which quickly became a national pastime each Thursday at 8pm for ten weeks during the first coronavirus lockdown last year.

Millions of people across the UK lined their thresholds, gathered on pavements and stood in their gardens to show their support for care staff and frontline workers.

Some set off fireworks, honked their car horns and used kitchen utensils, with members of the Royal Family and Prime Minister Boris Johnson also joining in.  

It comes as the petrol station industry warned today that drafting in the Army to deliver fuel to sites will not on its own end the shortages on the forecourt.

Boris Johnson is thought to be considering sending in troops to drive oil tankers after days of panic buying saw filling stations in many areas run dry.

The Petrol Retailers Association chairman Brian Madderson confirmed some training had been taking place ‘in the background’ for military personnel.

But he warned it was not an ‘absolute panacea’ and that there was no ‘single lever’ the Government and the industry could pull to resolve the crisis. 

With long queues at filling stations continuing over the weekend, Business Secretary Kwasi Kwarteng said he was temporarily suspending competition laws to allow the industry to share information so it can target areas where fuel supply is running low.

The move came after Mr Johnson said the Government was creating 5,000 three-month visas for foreign lorry drivers in an attempt to ease the pressure on hauliers which has been blamed over the problems.

A statement by Shell, ExxonMobile and other industry bodies again insisted there was no ‘national shortage of fuel’ and that the pressures on supply were the result of ‘temporary spikes in customer demand’.

But with no immediate sign of the problem easing, Mr Johnson is reported to be holding a series of meetings to consider whether to activate the military for Operation Escalin.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson and his then-fiancée Carrie Symonds join in with Clap for Carers outside 10 Downing Street in London in May 2020

Members of the fire brigade, construction workers and members of the public, join in with Clap for Carers outside the Nightingale Hospital in Harrogate, North Yorkshire, in April 2020

Nursing staff look out from a window at the Queen Elizabeth University Hospital in Glasgow and join in the applause in April last year

The idea for Clap for Carers last year came from mother-of-one Annemarie Plas after she was inspired by similar events in her native Netherlands.

But the 36-year-old yoga teacher, who is from Amsterdam but now lives in London, was later targeted with personal abuse and threats against herself and her family.

The event ran for ten weeks but was criticised for becoming politicised and Mrs Plas said it should finish in May, which it did before a planned restart in January 2021.

This was then cancelled after she distanced herself from it and NHS workers urged Britons not to take part, saying they would rather people respected the lockdown.

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