What UK supermarkets are now rationing because of panic-buyers

Major supermarkets including Sainsbury's, Tesco, Aldi and Morrisons have rationed how much of certain products customers can buy.

Some have restricted purchases in-demand items like toilet roll, paracetemol and pasta, while others have brought in blanket bans on multiple purchases.

It's just one of a number of measures brought in by the nation's grocers, as pictures of empty shelves spread through social media like wildfire.

Panic buyers have stripped shelves of everything they can – in some cases leaving just ice cream and chocolate Easter eggs – while huge queues snaked around some supermarkets ahead of opening on Wednesday.

Currently there are no official limits coming down from the Government, although pressure is growing to impose them, and supermarket bosses insist there is no shortage – simply people over-buying.

In the interim, the shops have taken action themselves – limiting customer purchases.

This is what's been imposed so far:


  • Coronavirus: Sainsbury's launch ‘elderly shopping hour’ and shut cafes and counters

  • Coronavirus: Morrisons to create 3,500 more jobs to speed up home deliveries

Tesco has introduced a five-item limit on items including pasta, baked beans, anti-bacterial wipes, gels and sprays, and long-life milk until further notice.

It also cut opening hours at all its 24-hour stores saying it would be open from 6am and 10pm as the UK moves to restrict movement in a bid to control the virus.

The grocer told Mirror Money it's actions are being "continuously reviewed".

Tesco has almost entirely sold out of dried pasta online and has now introduced a five limit number on several items, including anti-bacterial wipes and long-life milk.


Customers will be able to buy a maximum of three of any grocery product.

Those limits shrink to a maximum of two of each of its most popular items including toilet paper, soap, and UHT (long-lasting) milk.

Sainsbury's added it would close counters and cafes to make sure as much space and as many staff as possible were devoted to essentials.

Stores will set aside aside the first hour in every supermarket for elderly and vulnerable customers. For all other customers, supermarkets will open one hour after the published opening time.

Vulnerable customers would also get priority with online delivery slots.


  • Coronavirus: Supermarkets to 'cut services to stay open' if staff fall ill

Aldi has restricted all items in its store to four units a person.

The budget boss of the chain say it had seen an "unprecedented demand" across its range and its wants to make all of its customers can purchase everything.

Aldi added: "All our stores remain open and continue to serve our valued customers.

"We have good product availability and our colleagues are working tirelessly to restock and replenish shelves as quickly as they can."


Asda has announced it is restricting all customers to buying up to three items on all food, toiletries and cleaning products amid a surge in demand following the coronavirus outbreak.

Hand sanitiser had already been restricted to two per person both in-store and online.

The supermarket chain also said it will close its cafes and pizza counters to free space and staff in order to help keep shelves fully stocked.

The retailer has also temporarily reduced the opening hours of all its 24-hour stores, so that they will be closed between 12am and 6am each day for re-stocking.


  • Shopper shares savvy solution to the coronavirus pasta shortage

Waitrose currently has online-only restrictions on certain anti-bacterial soaps and wipes – which have been capped at four per person.

A spokeswoman told Mirror Money: "In-store, we are currently not putting a cap on any products.

"We have introduced a temporary cap on certain products on Waitrose.com including some antibacterial soaps and wipes, to ensure our customers have access to the products they need.

"We continue to work with suppliers to help meet demand."

What is the latest government advice on coronavirus?

The government has advised the British public to:

  • Avoid pubs, clubs, restaurants and all social gatherings
  • Cease all unnecessary travel
  • Everyone should work from home where possible
  • Mass gatherings and sporting events have been cancelled
  • Avoid “all but essential travel” to more than 30 countries
  • If one person in any household has a persistent cough or fever, everyone living there must stay at home for 14 days

  • Pregnant women, those over 70, and people with certain health conditions have been asked to stay at home for 12 weeks

  • Schools will remain open


Morrisons has imposed restrictions on cleaning products – with bleach now capped at six per person and two for hand sanitisers.

Customers will now be asked to pay by card or smartphone to reduce cash handling.

To help manage a rise in online orders, the grocer said it will launch a new range of simple-to-order food parcels, including options for vegetarians, from March 23.

In the coming weeks, a further 100 stores will also be used to gather online orders to ensure customers get the products they need.

A post on the Morrisons website, explains: "You may notice that delivery slots for our online groceries service are becoming less readily available as demand for home deliveries increases. We're working hard to facilitate as many orders as we can, however please be aware that you may need to book your slot further in advance than usual.

"You will also discover that there is a maximum order number on selected products so we can make sure our customers still have access to essential products."

Morrisons also said it will create 3,500 more jobs to speed up home deliveries, while offering staff access to a "hardship fund" to help cover their bills as the pandemic continues to sweep through Britain.


A Lidl spokeswoman told us there are currently no limits on any purchases, however the retailer is "monitoring the situation".

Toilet roll has been rationed to two 12-packs per customer.

The website and app crashed yesterday as people rushed to buy food. The outrage came as the company said it was struggling to fulfil demand and that new customers would not be able to use the site.

"In this time of unusual demand, we have made the call to temporarily prioritise deliveries for you, our existing customers. This means, after today we will not be processing new customer bookings for the time being," it wrote on Facebook.

"Naturally, we are very sorry to have to disappoint anyone that chooses Ocado, and we’re working hard to increase our delivery capacity."

Source: Read Full Article