Supermarket rationing rules including Morrisons, Tesco, Aldi, Asda and Lidl explained

TOILET roll and other essentials are NOT in short supply – but some supermarkets have been forced to ration essential items.

Shoppers have been buying up more than they need to as coronavirus cases grow – despite there being plenty to go round – so Tesco and Morrisons have put limits on how much you can buy.

Supermarkets have urged customers not to panic buy and reassured shoppers there is plenty of stock.

The limits ensure everyone can access the products they need, when they need them, including the vulnerable and elderly, and even shoppers have urged the supermarkets to put limits on products.

We explain here what each supermarket is doing.

Morrisons rules

On Thursday, Morrisons was the first supermarket to introduce rationing again.

What are the limits?

Three per person on a small number of key products, including toilet roll and disinfectant.

What does Morrisons say?

A Morrisons spokesperson said: "We are introducing a limit on a small number of key products, such as toilet roll and disinfectant.

"Our stock levels of these products are good but we want to ensure that they are available for everyone."  

What else is Morrisons doing?

Marshals are back on doors at the front of stores to make sure there are not too many people inside at once.

This is to help tackle the spread of the virus which is on the rise again.

Tesco rules

Tesco has now introduced some rationing too, with customers prevented from buying some items in bulk.

What are the limits?

There's a limit of three per person in store on five items:

  • flour
  • dried past
  • toilet roll
  • baby wipes
  • anti-bacterial wipes

There will be further limits added to some items online, such as rice and canned veg.

There some existing online restrictions which have been in place for some time, including on:

  • face coverings
  • eggs
  • flour
  • anti-bacterial products

What does Tesco say?

A Tesco spokesperson said: “We have good availability, with plenty of stock to go round, and we would encourage our customers to shop as normal.

"To ensure that everyone can keep buying what they need, we have introduced bulk-buy limits on a small number of products.

The boss of Tesco Dave Lewis also urged customers not to panic buy because it was unnecessary.

What else is Tesco doing?

There will be Tesco staff at the door reminding customers that they must wear a mask unless they are exempt, and they will be on sale at the door for those who have forgotten them.

A Tesco spokesperson said: “To help our customers shop safely, we will also have colleagues at the entrances of our larger stores to remind customers about the safety measures we have in place, including the legal requirement to wear a face covering.”

Full list of places where you need to wear a face mask

BRITS are required by law to wear a mask in the following places:

  • Shops 
  • Supermarkets
  • Shopping centres
  • Transport hubs – Train stations and terminals, airports, ports, bus and coach stations and terminals
  • Cafes and when buying takeaway food
  • Banks and building societies
  • Post Offices
  • Cinemas
  • Places of worship
  • Museums
  • Art galleries

Customers in pubs and restaurants will have to cover up from September 24 but can take them off to eat or drink.

People caught not wearing a mask in shops could be fined £200.

Enforcement will be carried out by police and not retail staff.

Who doesn't have to wear a face covering?

  • Children under the age of 11
  • People who cannot put on, wear or remove a face covering because of a physical or mental illness or impairment, or disability
  • If you are speaking to or providing assistance to someone who relies on lip reading, clear sound or facial expressions to communicate
  • Police officers and other emergency workers

You also don't need to wear a face covering if:

  • Where putting on, wearing or removing a face covering will cause you severe distress
  • If not wearing one would avoid harm or injury, or the risk of harm or injury, to yourself or others

Aldi rules

There are no limits on how much you can buy at Aldi stores.

The boss of Aldi has urged shoppers not to panic buy and has asked its customers to shop considerately.

What does Aldi say?

Aldi chief executive Giles Hurley said in an email update to customers: "I would like to reassure you that our stores remain fully stocked and ask that you continue to shop considerately.

"There is no need to buy more than you usually would. We have remained open for our customers throughout the pandemic and will continue to have daily deliveries, often multiple times a day, across all of our products.

What else is Aldi doing?

Mr Hurley also reminded customers that the follwing safety measures remain in place:

  • traffic light system for entry to limit the number of shoppers in store
  • protective screens at checkouts
  • priority access hours for NHS staff and the vulnerable
  • staff and shoppers must wear face coverings unless exempt
  • maintaining a safe distance from other customers and staff
  • contactless payments under £45

Asda rules

Asda says it has good availability in stores and online and has no plans to implement any item limits at the moment.

What else is Asda doing?

Marshals have returned to Asda's doors and they will remind people about having to wear a face mask unless there's an exemption.

Masks will also be available to buy at the front of stores for those who don't have one.

Anthony Hemmerdinger, chief operating officer at Asda, said: "Safety remains a key priority for our customers and we will continue to do all we can to keep them and our colleagues safe in store.

"These additional measures will make our stores an even safer place to shop and work during the coming months."

Lidl rules

Lidl has not restrictions in place and says it is not experiencing any shortages on products and has good availability.

What else is Lidl doing?

The discounter has not announced any specific changes to safety measures but existing rules including social distancing measures like motoring how many people are in store with a traffic light system, protective screens and the wearing of facemasks.

How to cut the cost of your grocery shop

MONEY.CO.UK has shared some top tips with us to help you keep your supermarket spend down to a minimum.

  • Write yourself a list – Only buy items that you need. If it isn't on your list, don't put it in the trolley
  • Create a budget – Work out a weekly budget for your food shopping
  • Never shop hungry – You are far more likely to buy  more food if your tummy is rumbling
  • Don't buy pre-chopped veggies or fruit – The extra they'll charge for chopping can be eye watering
  • Use social media – Follow your favourite retailers to find out about the latest deals
  • Be disloyal – You may want to go to different stores to find the best bargains
  • Check the small print –  It’s always worth checking the price per kg/lb/litre when comparing offers so you’re making a like for like decision as a bigger box won’t necessarily mean you get more
  • Use your loyalty cards – Don’t be afraid to sign up to them all. They all work slightly differently – work out what bonus suits you better and remember to trade in your points for additional rewards

Waitrose rules

There are no limits in store, but there are fresh restrictions online.

What are the limits?

Purchase will be limited to two per customer online for a small number of items, including toilet roll and hand sanitiser.

What does Waitrose say?

A Waitrose spokesperson said: "We are holding good stock levels in all key product areas and we would like to reassure customers that there is no need to worry about buying more than they need.

"To ensure that customers can get what they need we've set a purchase limit of two packs on a small number of items including toilet rolls and hand sanitiser for online purchases.

What else is Waitrose doing?

The upmarket supermarket hasn't announced any specific new measures other than the online limits.

Safety measures such as social distancing, protective screens and marshals to mange queues continue in stores.

Sainsbury's rules

The supermarket has confirmed to The Sun that they are not restricting products.

What else is Sainsbury's doing?

The safety measures already in place at Sainsbury's continue and that includes wearing face coverings, priority access for the vulnerable and safety screens.

Marks and Spencer rules

M&S has also confirmed to The Sun that they are not restricting products.

What else is Marks and Spencer doing?

The safety measures already in place at M&S continue and that includes wearing face coverings, social distancing and screens at tills.

Shoppers are urging supermarkets to start putting limits on popular items amid fears of panic buying.

Brits have been told to work from home again if they are able to to help stop the spread of coronavirus.

Chancellor Rishi Sunak announced a raft of new support for jobs and the economy as coronavirus cases rise.

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