UK supermarkets have started rationing some essential food and household supplies as a result of consumers stockpiling due to Coronavirus fears.
The UK’s largest supermarket, Tesco is placing purchase limits on some items in-store and online, including antibacterial gels and wipes, as well as pasta and some tinned vegetables. Customers will be limited to buying no more than five of each of the items.
The restrictions are in effect nationwide but may vary in some areas. Similar restrictions have been placed by Waitrose online, while Boots and Asda have restricted sales on some hand sanitisers to a maximum of two per person. Online supermarket Ocado has also put limits on the purchase of some items including toilet roll.
News emerged this week of members of the public ‘panic buying’ amid coronavirus fears, with photos showing shelves of toilet rolls in supermarkets left empty.
The UK government has told consumers not to ‘panic buy’, however it would appear that many are doing the opposite. The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) has also told suppliers to be responsible after Facebook and Amazon cracked down on items such as hand gels and face masks being sold online at hugely marked-up prices.
The Chancellor, Rishi Sunak said on Sunday that the NHS will get “whatever resources it needs” to battle the coronavirus. It is anticipated that additional funding could be announced for the health service in Wednesday’s budget.
There are now over 107,000 confirmed cases of the COVID-19 coronavirus worldwide, with over 3,600 deaths recorded. In the UK, there have been 273 cases of the virus and 2 people have died, both of which were older persons with pre-existing health conditions. 18 people have recovered from the virus in the UK to date.