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Boots and Lloyds ration hand sanitisers as coronavirus spreads

Boots is restricting sales of hand sanitisers to ensure "as many people as possible have access”
Boots is restricting sales of hand sanitisers to ensure "as many people as possible have access”

Boots and Lloyds have confirmed they are limiting customers to two bottles of hand sanitiser each as bulk buying of the product increases with the spread of the coronavirus.

A spokesperson for Boots said it is now the multiple's nationwide policy to only allow customers to buy two hand sanitisers per person “to make sure as many people as possible have access to them”.  

“We have seen an increase in sales of hand sanitisers but we still have stock available in our warehouses for stores and online,” they explained.

Boots pharmacists are also available to offer customers guidance on protecting themselves against the virus, the spokesperson said. “All our pharmacists have the latest public health advice on coronavirus and can offer advice on the best way to stay healthy this winter,” they said.

Lloydspharmacy has also implemented a two bottles per person limit on hand sanitisers. A spokesperson for the multiple explained that the company is “doing everything we can to ensure availability, despite increasing demand and supply challenges”.

As part of this, Lloyds is currently “limiting sales of these products to two per person both online and in store”. The company is aware that “having access to products like hand gels is [currently] extremely important to our customers,” the spokesperson added.

The Lloydspharmacy teams are also “also reinforcing the latest public health guidance, which is for everyone to regularly wash their hands with soap and warm water”, they said.

“No current plans” to impose restrictions

Well and Rowlands said they do not currently have a policy in place to limit the number of hand sanitisers customers can buy.

A Well spokesperson said the multiple is also “seeing a surge in demand for sanitising products”. However, Well is “currently not limiting stocks to our customers and are doing our best to maintain stock levels best we can”, they added.

The spokesperson admitted that this could potentially lead to “stock being temporarily unavailable while it is replenished from our distribution centre” but said that Well “continues to monitor the supply and demand of these products carefully” to ensure availability.

Rowlands also said it has not yet imposed any restrictions on hand sanitiser sales. However, a spokesperson for the company said the company now has “no stocks of the alcohol-based products on our shelves”. They added that Rowlands expects “to receive a limited supply next week and we will then apply sale restrictions of one unit per customer”.

Demand for the hand sanitiser gel has rocketed following the outbreak of coronavirus, also known as Covid-19. Online pharmacy Medino last month reported seeing sales of hand sanitisers increase over 1,000% in the wake of the coronavirus outbreak.

*This article was updated on March 10, 2020. 

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