Supermarkets begin RATIONING as Tesco limits the amount of pasta, baked beans and hand sanitiser customers can buy to stop shelves being stripped in coronavirus panic
- Customers at Tesco will be limited to five items on a number of disaster goods
- They include hand sanitisers, dry pasta, baked beans and medicine, Calpol
- Footage today shows shelves in Asda supermarket in Sutton, Surrey, left bare
- Demand for hand sanitisers have spiked, causing 5,000% leap in online prices
- The number of confirmed UK cases has jumped to 206 from 163 today
Tesco has begun rationing the amount of pasta, baked beans and hand sanitiser per customer to stop shelves being stripped amid coronavirus fears.
In a move to ensure the supermarket has enough supply, they have decided to limit the amount of dry pasta, UHT milk and baked bean tins that each customer can purchase.
As well as the frequently purchased disaster goods, the store has decided to limit antibacterial gels, wipes, sprays and children’s cold medicine, Calpol.
Tesco confirmed that shoppers would be limited to five items on Saturday, adding that they would apply to online orders from tomorrow.
The decision comes after shoppers were seen stripping supermarket aisles bare across the country, with footage emerging of frantic stockpilers pushing trolleys piled high with toilet rolls and forming huge queues.
Shocking footage shows shoppers with trolleys stockpiled high with toilet rolls flooding checkouts at the Costco store in Chingford, London
A video from Costco in Chingford, London shows checkouts flooded with shoppers at the wholesale warehouse chain.
The store was said to be ‘running short’ on water with shoppers ‘fighting’ over toilet rolls and being ‘limited’ to one each during the panic-buying.
Lee Kennedy, who filmed the footage of stockpilers in Costco, said: ‘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: ‘There were hardly any toilet rolls left and the water was running short.
‘The queues were sneaking around the aisles and people were arguing about pushing in front of each other.
‘It was okay, very hectic in there. One worker said it was worse than Christmas.’
Another clip shows shelves in an Asda in Surrey stripped bare. The video was posted on Facebook, captioned: ‘Where has all the food, toilet paper and water gone?’
Hand sanitiser products have been selling for more than 5000% of their recommended retail price online, amid coronavirus hysteria.
As the number of confirmed UK cases hit 206 today up from 163, some bottles worth 49p were selling for £24.99 while one eBay listing has seen a second-hand bottle of liquid soap sell for more than £5 – despite being only three-quarters full.
The listing for the Lacura hand soap, which had a starting price of 99p, has had 13 bids, with the top bidder currently paying £4.20, plus £1.09 postage.
A separate clip shows shelves in Asda in Sutton, Surrey, stripped bare. It comes as a grandfather in his 80s was the second person who died from coronavirus on UK soil yesterday
Other listings have seen a pack of two Carex Aloe Vera Hand Gel Antibacterial Sanitiser (50ml) listed for £25. That particular seller has already sold 14 multipacks of the gel for £10 per pair.
Liberty Marketing analysed the UK’s biggest supermarkets and health stores to see how much more own brand hand sanitisers are being sold for on eBay compared to in-store and found Lidl 49p sanitisers are selling for as much as £24.99 online.
Morrison’s £2 hand sanitiser is being sold for £29.99 – a 1,400% increase.
Those listing Tesco’s own hand sanitisers are still making a 1,100% profit, despite it being the lowest percentage increase out of them all. The Tesco Health Antibacterial Hand Gel (50ml) is just 75p in-store and is being sold for as much as £9 on eBay.
Other supermarkets included in the research include Asda with a 2,629% increase and Morrisons with a 1,400% increase, while Sainsbury’s did not sell its own brand.
However, health and beauty retailers were also analysed including Savers with a percentage increase of 2,525%, Boots with an increase of 1,899% and Superdrug with an increase of 1.538%.
While undertaking the research, Liberty Marketing found every store, bar Superdrug, has sold out of hand sanitiser.
HR manager at Liberty Marketing Emily Webb said: ‘We, as a business, have been supplying extra anti-bacterial gels and tissues to all members of staff and ordering more than our standard batch, so it is no surprise that eBay sellers are seizing this opportunity to make some more money.
Pictured: Chopped tomatoes have flown off the shelves in a Tesco store. People have said they are setting up ‘contingency plans’ in case a disaster strikes in the UK
Pictured: Supermarket shelves have been seen stripped of home cleaning products
A view of an empty shelf out of stock of hand gel in a supermarket in London
‘Every business and individual should be taking extra measures to tackle personal hygiene and prevention of illnesses in the office and elsewhere.’
The anti-bacterial soap has sold out across the country, as shoppers have flocked to get their hands on a bottle.
The competition watchdog has warned retailers and traders they must not try and ‘take advantage of people’ concerned about the outbreak of coronavirus.
Officials at the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) said they would take strict action, and anyone trying to inflate prices could be fined under competition laws.
The number of people diagnosed with coronavirus in the UK as of 7am on Saturday has risen to 206 from 163 at 9am on Friday, the Department of Health said.
Hand sanitising gel is being stolen by visitors to Northampton General hospital on a daily basis as demand for the product grows amid the spread of coronavirus.
Pictured: Health Secretary Matt Hancock (right) responded after he was challenged by an audience member (left) on the BBC’s flagship Question Time programme
Pictured: BBC Question Time studio, where Health Secretary Matt Hancock was sent out by the Government to assuage public fears over the spread of the killer coronavirus
Hospital bosses said three wall-mounted dispensers have been ripped off, while visitors have used the hospital’s supply of sanitiser to ‘top up’ their own bottles.
Britons who have travelled to any part of Italy who feel ill will be told to self-isolate
Pictured: Prof Chris Whitty arriving at Downing Street for an emergency COBRA meeting into the UK’s ‘coronavirus crisis’
Britons returning from the whole of Italy are to self-isolate if they develop symptoms of the deadly coronavirus.
Chief medical officer Professor Chris Witty said the current advice for those returning from northern Italy is to be extended to the whole of the country.
While confirming that the Government was still in the phase of containing the virus, entering the delay process is the ‘direction of travel’ for the future, Professor Whitty revealed.
Since the killer coronavirus reached British shores, the government and health bodies have been in the ‘contain’ phase, trying to stop the infection’s ability to spread.
It comes as a grandfather in his 80s became the second person who died from coronavirus on British soil yesterday. A woman in her 70s was the first UK victim after being diagnosed with coronavirus while at the Royal Berkshire Hospital in Reading.
The woman tested positive for the killer infection on Wednesday before succumbing to the illness.
Elderly people are to be told to stay at home under new Government guidelines to tackle the outbreak of the virus as health officials urge Britons to check in on their relatives.
The elderly should be prepared for ‘social distancing’ policies, which are to be announcement by ministers next week, government sources said.
Advice will include the elderly staying at home and avoiding crowded areas which the Department of Health warned could leave people ‘cut off’.
Guidelines also state that households should decide how their food will be delivered in case they have to self-isolate.
There are 206 confirmed UK cases of coronavirus, up from 163 on Friday.
Matt Hancock was sent out by the Government last week to assuage public fears about the spread of the killer virus on the BBC’s Question Time.
The Health Secretary, whose role in the handling of the disease has been reduced after Boris Johnson responded to criticisms of being a ‘part-time Prime Minister’ by taking the lead, appealed for people not to resort to ‘herd behaviour’ after an audience member complained food and medicine were in short supply.
On the flagship programme, a woman voiced her concerns about panic-buying, asking: ‘How do we stop shortages?’
Mr Hancock continued to place confidence in the Government’s abilities to tackle the virus, after it came under fire from the WHO for its alleged complacency.
He said: ‘There is absolutely no need for individuals to go around buying more than they need. And in fact, part of the response of this has to be about us coming together. We are, after all, a herd. It’s the biology that is causing the problem.
People wearing protective face masks shop at a supermarket, amid concerns over the spread of the COVID-19 coronavirus, in Hanoi, Vietnam
A 26-year-old Vietnamese woman recently back from Europe has been tested positive for coronavirus, the first confirmed case after weeks without one
‘Obviously, the very, very strong advice from the scientists, the medics, is that people should not go about buying more than they need.’
The Government revealed its four-stage plan earlier this week that includes a raft of socially and economically costly contingency moves as a last resort.
The 28-page ‘action plan’ was agreed at the first emergency Cobra meeting to be chaired by the PM on Monday in which it was explained there are four stages – contain, delay, research and mitigate – to dealing with the virus.
MailOnline has contacted Costco for comment.
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