Amazon limiting shipment of non-essential items to help fight coronavirus

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Amazon is stopping its suppliers from sending non-essential products to its fulfillment centers in order to focus on shipping items that people need to stay safe during the coronavirus pandemic.

As reported on Amazon's DayOne blog and a Business Insider article, Amazon is "temporarily prioritizing household staples, medical supplies, and other important products" coming into its warehouses in order to better serve the huge number of customers who have switched to online shopping as a means of reducing exposure to coronavirus infection. These new rules will be in force until at least April 5.

Specifically, the categories Amazon is counting as priorities are: baby products, health & household, beauty & personal care, grocery, industrial & scientific and pet supplies.

Amazon is not refusing to sell specific items, and won't be turning away shipments already on their way, but it won't take any new stock of items outside of these categories. This could mean shortages of certain items however, if warehouses run out and are unable to restock under the temporary rules.

In the same post, Amazon also affirmed that it was working to prevent price gouging, and that it has blocked or removed tens of thousands of items, in accordance with its policies. The company also announced that it would be seeking 100,000 new full and part-time positions across the U.S. to work in its fulfillment centers in order to keep up with customer demands. It has also increased its hourly wages through April by $2 per hour in the US, £2 per hour in the UK, and about €2 per hour in many EU countries.

Richard Priday
Assistant Phones Editor

Richard is based in London, covering news, reviews and how-tos for phones, tablets, gaming, and whatever else people need advice on. Following on from his MA in Magazine Journalism at the University of Sheffield, he's also written for WIRED U.K., The Register and Creative Bloq. When not at work, he's likely thinking about how to brew the perfect cup of specialty coffee.