Tesco and Waitrose have started rationing sought after products as coronavirus-panicked shoppers continue to strip supermarket shelves bare.
Products including anti-bacterial gels, wipes and sprays, bleach, dried pasta, long-life milk, canned vegetables, water, and children’s medication will be restricted to a maximum of five per customer in Tesco stores.
The measures were introduced on Saturday as the number of confirmed Covid-19 cases in the UK jumped to 206.
It is understood restrictions would be introduced online today. Waitrose will ‘temporarily cap’ certain items online although it confirmed to The Sun there were no restrictions currently in place in-store.
A spokesperson said it was ‘to ensure our customers have access to the products they need.’
The moves follow high street chemist Boots introducing a two-bottle limit on hand sanitiser last Tuesday.
Restricting sales should help ensure such products are available to those who need them most, but it is proving difficult to deter Brits from panic buying.
David Savage, an
associate professor of behavioural and microeconomics at the Unversity of
Newcastle in Austrail has written about the rationality behind panic buying.
He told BBC.com: ‘It
is rational to prepare for something bad that looks like it is likely to occur.
‘However, it is not rational to buy 500 cans of baked beans for what would likely be a two-week isolation period.’
Rationing comes as scenes of shoppers stockpiling everyday
items continue to be captured on video.
Lines of panicked Costco customers were filmed loading huge bundles of toilet paper on to their trolleys.
Lee Kennedy filmed the footage when he saw queues snaking around the aisles and that toilet paper and water supplies were running low.
He told the Mailonline: ‘It was all very over the top,
people were fighting over toilet rolls and being limited to one per person.
‘They were talking about putting restrictions on the bottled water as well.’
He added: ‘People were arguing about pushing in front of
each other. ‘
A spokesman for Tesco tweeted: ‘We know
there’s demand for certain products at the moment and we’re working really hard
to maintain availability of those to help customers.
‘We have also taken a common-sense
approach to make sure everyone can assess essentials and have introduced a
maximum purchase limit (5 per customer) on a few items.
‘Products included: anti-bac gel, anti-bac wipes, anti-bac sprays, bleach, dried pasta, UHT milk, tinned veg, kids medications and water. I hope this helps.’
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