Coronavirus: Supermarkets ration hand sanitisers, soap & pasta to halt panic buying

Coronavirus: Supermarkets ration hand sanitisers, soap & pasta to halt panic buying
The government's chief scientific adviser Sir Patrick Vallance said there was "absolutely no reason" for the British public to panic buy as confirmed coronavirus cases in the UK hit 273.
// Tesco, Asda & Waitrose have started rationing sales of certain items amid panic buying from coronavirus fears
// Restrictions have been placed on toilet paper, soap, pasta, long-life milk & antibacterial hand sanitisers – in store or online
// Most grocers, including Morrisons and Sainsbury’s, have not introduced rations yet

Supermarkets have placed restrictions on items such as pasta, anti-bacterial wipes and hand soap in a bid to prevent shoppers from stockpiling through panic buying.

Shelves across the country have been emptied of goods, including toilet paper, after Public Health England urged members of the public to “plan ahead” just in case they had to self-isolate for a couple of weeks.

However, the government’s chief scientific adviser Sir Patrick Vallance said there was “absolutely no reason” for the British public to panic buy.


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, gels, and long-life milk.

No other supermarket has resorted to rationing food, but the majority are now limiting anti-bacterial gels to two per customer – or have sold out entirely.

The full list of restrictions at each supermarket is as follows:

Tesco: Five-item limit on a number of items including pasta, anti-bacterial wipes, gels and sprays, and long-life milk. Started online on Sunday morning and in stores on Saturday afternoon.

Waitrose: Only online at the moment, and only includes restrictions on certain anti-bacterial soaps and wipes.

Morrisons: No restrictions on any items at the moment.

Aldi: Has not yet responded, but ant-bacterial hand gel is not available online.

Asda: Hand sanitiser restricted to two per person both in-store and online. No food restrictions. Many anti-bacterial products out of stock online.

Sainsbury’s: No limits on any purchases.

Lidl: Did not confirm any restrictions.

Ocado: Has not yet responded, but no limits on products online.

As of this morning, 273 people had been diagnosed with Covid-19 – up from 206 cases confirmed on Saturday.

Coronavirus concerns appear to have created an international rush for toilet paper.

In Australia, two women were charged after a fight broke out over toilet roll in one of its major supermarket chains.

Hand sanitiser products were also found to be selling for more than 5000 per cent their recommended retail price online, with bottles worth 49p selling for £24.99

One eBay listing has seen a second-hand bottle of liquid soap sell for more than £5 – despite being only three-quarters full.

with PA Wires

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  1. Morrisons is restricting sales of Cough medicines for children and Hand wash to 2 only online. Not sure instore.Sky had this info last night. Please update.

    Some people are not panic buying. Some people bulk buy because of health issues or financial issues. Please stop calling everyone selfish on newspapers because some people are not. They are only doing what they always do for their health needs. It is easier to bulk buy so you can focus the other time on caring.

    I am not going to expand on this, however, we need calm now and a good attitude.


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