Britain's biggest supermarket Tesco will prevent customers from bulk-buying flour, pasta, toilet roll and anti-bacterial wipes to prevent a re-run of the Covid-19 stockpiling that stripped shelves bare earlier this year. 

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

UK customers stocked up on long-life goods in March as the country entered a national lockdown, forcing many people to queue for hours or drive further than normal to find goods such as toilet roll, tinned fruit and rice. 

With Covid cases rising once again in Britain, Prime Minister Boris Johnson told people to work from home if they can earlier this week, prompting Tesco to join smaller rival Morrisons in reimposing restrictions. 

Both chains have also placed staff at the entrance to stores to ensure that face coverings are worn. 

But a Tesco Ireland spokesperson said today that the supermarket group had not introduced limits on products at this time. 

"We have good availability, with plenty of stock to go round, and we would encourage customers not to alter their normal shopping habits", the Tesco Ireland spokesperson said

Kimberly-Clark, the maker of Andrex toilet rolls and Kleenex wipes, said it was seeing a moderate increase in the demand for Andrex toilet tissue, but that it had more than enough product to ensure a steady supply across the UK. 

Other suppliers such as consumer goods giant Procter & Gamble and Reckitt Benckiser have said they are well prepared. 

Earlier this week the bosses of both Tesco and Aldi, Britain's fifth largest player, said supplies were plentiful but called on shoppers to only buy what they need. 

"We just don't want to see a return to unnecessary panic buying because that creates a tension in the supply chain that's not necessary," Tesco chief executive Dave Lewis said.

Earlier today, Morrisons said it was limiting consumers buying products such as soaps, rice, toilet rolls, disinfectants and bleach to a maximum of three items.

It has also applied some caps to online orders. 

"We've got decent stock levels but we want to be sure that they are available for everyone," a Morrisons spokesman said. 

Reckitt Benckiser, the company behind Dettol cleaning products, has optimised its supply network to maximise production, a spokeswoman said, and will continue to do everything it can to meet increased consumer demand.