Amazon places limits on sales of at-home COVID tests amid spike in demand

Brett Molina
USA TODAY

As the swift spread of the omicron variant boosts demand for at-home COVID tests,  Amazon is joining the list of retailers putting parameters around how many you can buy at a time.

In a statement to USA TODAY, Amazon said it is placing a limit on the number of its branded at-home COVID tests can be purchased in an order. Currently, consumers can buy a maximum of 10 tests.

Amazon cites inventory shortages due to increased demand. "We are working hard to secure additional COVID-19 test inventory available from our selling partners," said the company.

Other retailers have instituted similar limits on the number of tests consumers can buy. Both CVS and Walgreens have purchase limits on at-home test kits. Walgreens limits shoppers to four kits per purchase, while CVS set their limit to six.

A picture shows the Amazon logo on the frontage of an Amazon's centre in Bretigny-sur-Orge, on December 14, 2021.

►Texas tech:Amazon plans major expansion in Austin, to hire 2,000 workers

►Holiday shopping:How to take full advantage of your Amazon account and save money

"Due to the incredible demand for at-home rapid testing, we put into effect a four-item purchase limit on at-home COVID-19 testing products in our stores and digital properties in an effort to help improve inventory while we continue to work diligently with our supplier partners to best meet customer demands," said Walgreens in a statement on its website

To help meet the surge in demand sparked by the spread of the omicron variant, President Joe Biden announced Tuesday plans to buy a half-billion, at-home rapid COVID tests to distribute to Americans. 

The sharp jump in COVID cases linked to omicron has also forced travelers to reconsider their planned holiday trips.

Follow Brett Molina on Twitter: @brettmolina23.