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Sunday 31st May 2020

Coronavirus: Tesco limits online orders and tells people to go to the shops

Stockpiling is still causing problems

People have been asked to go to physical stores instead of online shopping by Tesco bosses - as there is no end to the panic buying which has emptied shelves since the coronavirus panic began.

Shoppers will now only be allowed a maximum of 80 items per person, in a bid to make sure that everyone can get the food they need.

Read more: Coronavirus: Stop stockpiling or rationing will be introduced, shoppers warned

Social distancing measures are being enforced at Tesco stores (Credit: Splash News)

Read more: Health secretary Matt Hancock tests positive for coronavirus

The retailer sent an email to shoppers saying there will be a cap on the number of products that can be added to online baskets to ensure everyone has access to food.

It follows instructions issued by Prime Minister Boris Johnson that people should only leave their house to exercise once a day or to buy essentials, though it seems that many are defying this. Shoppers were also told they should shop as "infrequently as possible."

"From today, we’ll be capping the number of items you can add to your online basket to 80."

Boris Johnson himself has now been diagnosed with coronavirus.

Customers who are not in the vulnerable groups now being given priority slots for online shopping or able to visit stores at certain times are being asked to go into stores so that vulnerable people can still get food.

Some key workers including NHS staff have struggled to get supplies (Credit: Splash News)

the vast majority of supermarkets do not have a delivery slot available for weeks as stockpiling continues. Currently, the next Tesco delivery slot is not available until April 14 while all new delivery sign ups have been suspended.

The email sent to customers read: "We’re doing everything we can to increase the number of customers we can safely deliver to. "That’s why we’ll be making some changes. From today, we’ll be capping the number of items you can add to your online basket to 80."

Every product will be limited to three per customer, in order to prevent stockpiling and food shortages.

Meanwhile, Sainsbury's has been restricting online slots to customers it has identified as vulnerable, and has extended its click and collect locations in many areas.

Empty shelves have been a problem at Tesco (Credit: Splash News)

"To help keep everyone safe, you’ll start to see all of your orders arriving bagged," the email continued.

"This will also limit the amount of time customers and drivers need to spend on the doorstep.

"We’re at full capacity for the next few weeks and we ask those who are able to safely come to stores to do so, instead of shopping online. ‘This will help us to free up more slots for the more vulnerable."

There have been repeated assurances that there is enough food for everyone. Nevertheless, many supermarkets have seen queues around the block as shoppers panic about dwindling supplies.

Yesterday, an academic warned that rationing could be introduced if shoppers fail to control their habits.

Supermarkets have introduced a raft of measures to tackle panic buying. Aldi introduced security guards, and Marks & Spencer Simply Food is one of those to operate a one in, one out approach.

Asda has advised customers only to touch the food they are buying to stop the coronavirus from spreading through an infected person leaving it on a surface.

Do you think enough is being done to stop panic buying, or do we need tougher measures? Go to our Facebook page @EntertainmentDailyfix and leave a comment to let us know.