Why your weekly shop will likely be affected by coronavirus

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Coronavirus fears have caused shoppers to begin stockpiling, which has forced supermarkets to put restrictions on some products.

Due to ‘panic buying’ because of coronavirus, (opens in new tab) major supermarkets across the UK have started limiting purchases.

Tesco has limited sales of antibacterial products, including hand sanitiser (opens in new tab), dried pasta, long life milk, children’s machines, bottled water and tinned vegetables.

Any customers wanting to buy these Tesco products are now limited to five items per person both in-store and online.

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READ MORE: How to make your own effective hand sanitiser, according to a germ expert (opens in new tab)

Tesco also confirmed that the demand for home deliveries had ‘more than doubled’, after a customer asked about the lack of delivery slots.

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Asda has restricted sales of hand sanitiser to two bottles per person, but so far that’s the only product they’ve chosen to limit.

Meanwhile, online supermarket Ocado has limited several products on their website.

Shoppers can only buy two packs of toilet roll, two bottles of antibacterial gel, and three bottles of children’s medicine Calpol.

According to Sky News, the Morrisons website is limiting purchases of hand wash and children’s medicine.

However, the retailer has claimed this is unrelated to coronavirus.


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Waitrose has introduced a temporary limit on items including antibacterial soaps and wipes due to high demand.

Sainsbury’s does not appear to be limiting any purchases at this time.

Environment secretary George Eustice has held talks with supermarket and trade body bosses to discuss the high demand for products.

He revealed that retailers were taking “all the necessary steps” to keep shelves well stocked.

Following these talks, Eustice said, “The retailers reassured me they have well-established contingency plans and are taking all the necessary steps to ensure consumers have the food and supplies they need.”

coronavirus supermarkets

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In addition to product limits in supermarket, Facebook has revealed it’s temporarily banned ads and commercial listings for medical facemasks.

Facebook director of product management Rob Leathern added, "We're monitoring Covid-19 closely and will make necessary updates to our policies if we see people trying to exploit this public health emergency."

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Lucy Buglass
Digital Writer

Lucy Buglass is a Digital Writer for What's on TV, Goodto.com, and Woman&Home. After finishing her degree in Film Studies at Oxford Brookes University she moved to London to begin her career. She's passionate about entertainment and spends most of her free time watching Netflix series, BBC dramas, or going to the cinema to catch the latest film releases.