Tesco limits gross sales of bathroom roll, eggs, rice and cleaning soap

Early in the pandemic many supermarkets limited the number of essential items each customer could buy, with sales of products such as pasta and toilet roll rationed.

Tesco re-introduced some of these limits in September, and this week it extended these restrictions further – all the below restrictions apply in-store and online: 

  • You can now only buy one pack of toilet roll. Tesco has had limits on the amount of toilet roll each customer can buy on and off since April. Until earlier this week customers were limited to three packs, while a one-pack limit was last in force in November.
  • You can now only buy up to three packs of each of the following – eggs, rice, soap and handwash. These are new restrictions brought in this week.
  • Existing limits remain on flour, dried pasta, baby wipes and anti-bacterial wipes. Each customer can buy up to three of each of these products – and this has been the case for several months. 

The new restrictions come amid ongoing concern about supermarket supply chains, after freight transport was disrupted when France closed its borders with the UK earlier this week. Sainsbury’s warned on Monday that if freight transport did not resume, shoppers could face shortages of salad leaves, cauliflowers, broccoli and citrus fruit – though France has now reopened its border for some. 

However it’s important to stress that Tesco says its new limits are pre-emptive measures to ensure smooth demand, not a sign that there are any product shortages or that people have been panic-buying. It says shoppers should carry on buying as they normally would, within the limits. See our Supermarket Shopping Tips guide for help on how to cut your food bill.

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