Updates on new supermarket rationing rules ahead of Christmas

23 December 2020, 07:39 | Updated: 23 December 2020, 10:04

New restrictions have come in on supermarket products
New restrictions have come in on supermarket products. Picture: PA Images

Tesco has reintroduced rationing on many of its items to stop stockpiling ahead of Christmas Day.

As we head into a very uncertain few weeks, supermarket giant Tesco has introduced purchasing limits on certain staple items.

This means customers will only be allowed to buy one pack of toilet roll, and three of other items including eggs, rice and soap.

The store said it was introducing the temporary cap on certain essential items so that ‘all customers can have access to these products’.

A letter sent by Tesco has urged people to ‘shop as normal’ in the run up to December 25 so that everyone is able to get what they need.

Supermarkets want to keep shoppers safe
Supermarkets want to keep shoppers safe. Picture: PA Images

They added: “We continue to have good availability on the small number of fresh products, such as lettuce, cauliflower and citrus fruit, that we import from France at this time of year.”

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More than 300 Tesco stores will also be open 24 hours a day until Christmas Eve, with many other stores extending their hours to be open from 5am.

Items including flour, dried pasta, baby wipes and anti-bacterial wipes have been limited for several months.

A Tesco spokesman said: "The extra limits are just pre-emptive measures to help us smooth demand rather than a reaction to change in buying behaviour or product shortages."

Other supermarkets have also put restrictions on their produce, with Morrison’s introducing limits on products such as toilet roll and disinfectant back in September.

"Our stock levels of these products are good but we want to ensure that they are available for everyone,” a spokesperson said at the time.

Aldi has said any rationing is down to the discretion of each store, with a spokesman previously confirming: "We want to reassure our customers that we are not currently experiencing any product shortages and have good availability in our stores.

"We hope all customers remain mindful of others when shopping with us to ensure everyone continues to have access to the products they need.

"Nonetheless, it is at our store managers discretion, should customers start to bulk-buy, to limit the purchasing of specific items at that store."

Meanwhile, Sainsbury’s, ASDA and the Co-operative currently have no limits in place, but have urged customers not to stockpile.

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