The UK's biggest supermarket chains - such as Asda, Tesco, Sainsbury's and Morrisons, have revealed whether or not they would bring back product purchase limits following concerns that some shoppers have started panic buying.

With the second lockdown in England beginning on Thursday, we've contacted each retailer to ask if this will be the case - and here are the responses in full.


Tesco confirmed that limits are in place on several items, which the supermarket chain added that it will keep under review.

In Tesco stores, there is a three-items per customer limit for:

  • Flour
  • Dried pasta
  • Toilet roll
  • Baby wipes
  • Anti-bacterial wipes

There are additional limits for a small number of products online, such as rice and canned veg.

The full details of coronavirus safety meaures at Tesco can be found here.


The spokesperson from the supermarket chain told us: "[We have] no plans to bring in any limits or restrictions as yet, we’re not seeing any evidence of ‘panic buying’ at the moment."

Back in September, Asda announced a number of additional safety measures across its stores to provide an enhanced level of protection for customers and staff.

The new measures included:

  • The creation of 1,000 new Asda Safety Marshals stationed at the front of every store and in the aisles of larger stores. These colleagues will be on hand to help customers with safety queries and reiterate Government guidelines to wear a face covering and maintain social distancing while they shop. Customers who do not have a covering when they enter the store will be offered a pack of disposable masks that they can pay for as they complete their shopping.
  • Additionally, those marshals stationed at the store entrance will provide sanitised baskets / trolleys to customer as they enter the store.
  • Introducing additional hand sanitisation stations in the busiest sections of all stores in addition to the multiple cleaning points already found throughout stores.
  • Applying a protective coating to all basket and trolley handles, creating an antimicrobial surface that prevents the spread of bacteria and viruses. The same coating technology (Bio Master X shield) is already used to kill bacteria and viruses in the NHS Nightingale Excel hospital.

Following the recent change in Government guidance, all Asda store colleagues in England, Wales and Scotland will now wear a covering while at work unless they have a medical exemption. Asda say they have always encouraged staff to wear a covering by offering them a choice of disposable and reusable coverings and visors.

These new initiatives will supplement the comprehensive safety measures Asda already to make its stores a Covid secure place to shop and work, which include, Perspex screens at every checkout, clear social distancing signage throughout stores, and regular deep cleaning regimes.

Anthony Hemmerdinger, Chief Operating Officer at Asda, said: “We know that 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, as we have since the start of the pandemic. These additional measures will make our stores an even safer place to shop and work during the coming months.”

The full details of coronavirus safety measures at Asda can be found here.


Supermarket chain Morrisons have re-introduced limits on a number of products following concerns of panic buying. 

The full list of products that have been capped are:

  • Bar soap - maximum of three items 
  • Hand sanitizers - maximum of three items 
  • Hand wash - maximum of three items 
  • Calpol - maximum of two items 
  • World foods rice  - maximum of three items 
  • World foods flour - maximum of three items 
  • World foods oil - maximum of three items 
  • Toilet paper - maximum of three items 
  • Bathroom cleaning - maximum of three items 
  • Floor cleaning -  maximum of three items
  • Glass and window cleaning - maximum of three items  
  • Kitchen cleaning - maximum of three items 
  • Multi-purpose cleaning - maximum of three items 
  • Bleach - maximum of three items 
  • Disinfectant - maximum of three items 
  • Toilet care bleach and disinfectant - maximum of three items 
  • Kitchen roll - maximum of three items 

A Morrisons spokeswoman 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."


In a short statement, a Sainsbury's spokesperson told us: "We have good availability and no product restrictions in place.."

The full details of coronavirus safety meaures at Sainsbury's can be found here.


We contacted M&S, but the company didn't respond to our request for comment.


A spokesperson from Waitrose told us: "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 on a small number of items including toilet rolls and hand sanitiser for purchases online and in our shops."

The full list of product limits in Waitrose can be found below:

  • Toilet Roll - 2 units across all 
  • Washing & Bathing: Hand Wash/Anti bac gels - 2 units Hand wash & soap (anti bac gels is included in this shelf) 
  • Bleach - 3 units across all
  • Dried Pasta - 3 units across all
  • Flour (incl yeast) - 3 units across all
  • Eggs - 2 units across all
  • Long Life Milk - 3 units across all

Household Cleaning - 3 units in total of the below shelves;
•    Bathroom and Toilet Cleaners
•    Wipes 
•    Kitchen cleaners
•    Disinfectant
•    Floor cleaners
•    Gloves

The full details of coronavirus safety meaures at Waitrose can be found here.


In an open letter to customers, Aldi CEO Giles Hurley said: "As we continue to battle this virus together, I want to reassure you that the comprehensive safety measures we put in place in our stores at the start of the pandemic are still very much in place – and will remain so for as long as they are necessary."

These measures include:

  • A traffic light system at store entrances to manage the number of people in stores at any one time
  • Protective screens at all 7,000 of our checkouts
  • Social distancing markers in store
  • NHS, blue light and vulnerable priority access hours
  • Sanitisation stations at store entrances
  • Clear signs throughout stores to advise customers on how to shop safely, in line with the latest Government guidance
  • Contactless payments increased to £45

Mr Hurley added: "We ask that customers continue to wear a face covering when shopping with us, unless they are exempt from doing so. Our store colleagues will also continue to wear face coverings whilst working in store.

"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.

"We also know many of our customers still need additional support. To those vulnerable customers, please rest assured that the measures we introduced to give you safe access to affordable food, such as early opening times from Monday to Saturday will continue.

"We are also trialling a number of initiatives including an on-demand grocery home delivery in partnership with Deliveroo to help those who cannot currently visit our stores. To find out if your local store offers this service please visit

"While in store, we kindly ask that you try to maintain a safe distance from others at all times, shop by yourself whenever possible and use contactless payment methods if you can.

"I will of course keep you updated on any new steps we are taking, and please rest assured that we are as committed as ever to providing you with a quick, safe and affordable shopping experience every time you visit Aldi."

The full details of coronavirus safety meaures at Aldi can be found here.


A spokesperson from Lidl told us: "We’re not 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."

The full details of coronavirus safety meaures at Lidl can be found here.

What have the British Retail Consortium said?

Andrew Opie, Director of Food and Sustainability at the British Retail Consortium, said: “Retailers have done an excellent job in ensuring customers have access to food and necessities throughout this pandemic.

"Since March, retail businesses have strengthened their supply chains as well as investing hundreds of millions to make stores safe and secure for customers; this includes perspex screens, social distancing measures and additional hygiene measures. As such, retail remains a safe space for consumers, even under future lockdowns.

“Supply chains are stronger than ever before and we do not anticipate any issues in the availability of food or other goods under a future lockdown. Nonetheless, we urge consumers to be considerate of others and shop as they normally would.”