Greedy shops warned about pushing up prices and mis-selling items due to coronavirus fears – The Sun

GREEDY retailers that advantage of the coronavirus outbreak to inflate prices could be fined, the competitions watchdog has warned.

The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) said that it would also take action against shops advertising misleading claims about protectiveness of specific items.

Read our coronavirus live blog for all the latest news and updates

A shortage of disinfectants and hand sanitisers has caused prices to soar online by as much as 80 times normal rates in some cases.

Yesterday, a face mask advert was banned by the advertising watchdog for wrongly claiming to prevent coronavirus.

"We urge retailers to behave responsibly throughout the coronavirus outbreak and not to make misleading claims or charge vastly inflated prices," the CMA chief executive Andrea Coscelli said.

Watchdog chairman Lord Tyrie added: "We will do whatever we can to act against rip-offs and misleading claims, using any or all of our tools; and where we can’t act, we’ll advise government on further steps they could take, if necessary."

The Sun previously reported how Lidl hand sanitisers worth 50p are being sold on eBay for £40.

Last month, authorities in Italy began investigating rocketing online price for hygenic masks and sanitising gels following thousands of confirmed case of coronavirus in the north of the country.

Amazon has banned more than one million products from sale in the US over the past few weeks after they falsely claimed to cure or defend against the illness.

So far, 90 cases of the deadly bug have been reported in the UK with health experts warning that it could turn into an epidemic.

In response, Brits have started stockpiling household essentials including toilet roll, pet food, pasta, rice and nappies.

Shelves have also been wiped of hand santisers and hand wash as shoppers stockpile the germ busters.

It's estimated that hand sanitiser sales were up 255 per cent in February alone, according to research company Kantar.

Some stores, including Boots and Sainsbury's, have limited the number of hand gels to two per customers – here's where you can still buy anti-bacterial hand gel.

If the virus continues to spread, supermarkets plan to limit the amount of food customers can buy and will work with suppliers to cut back on what's on offer.

The NHS and Public Health England say the best way to stop the spread of coronavirus is simply to wash your hands with soap for 20 seconds.

If in doubt, The Sun has published a step-by-step guide on how to wash your hands effectively to stop the spread of germs.

Source: Read Full Article