Supermarkets across the UK are updating their shopping rules starting this week in light of the ongoing national lockdowns.
England joined Wales and Northern Ireland as of Thursday this week and took new action on Scotland.
As a result, the major supermarkets have changed their shopping rules and released a number of updates.
Most stores have updated the rules on who should enter the store, how the numbers are limited, and what you can buy.
Some bring in new systems to limit numbers or to keep employees and customers safe.
In Wales, non-essential items cannot be bought in supermarkets. This rule does not apply anywhere else.
These are the latest shopping rules that were updated this week.
Anthony Hemmerdinger, Chief Operating Officer at Asda, said, “These additional measures will make our stores an even safer place to shop and work in the coming months.”
Covid Marshalls are increasing across the chain. Marshalls will manage the numbers that go into stores and assist customers with coronavirus safety issues while additional hand sanitizing stations have been provided.
A new system to automatically count the number of customers entering is introduced, and Asda is also testing a system that will allow people to wait in their cars for space to become available in stores.
Asda says: “We are extending the opening hours of our Asda Covid Safety Marshals, who are on duty in front of every store from 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. to manage access and help with safety-related questions.
“We ask our Covid Safety Marshals to be present in the busiest areas of our larger stores to manage footfall and remind customers to maintain social distance while shopping.
“We apply a protective antibacterial coating to over 200,000 trolley and basket handles to prevent the spread of bacteria. The same coating has been used successfully to kill bacteria at the NHS Nightingale Excel Hospital.
“A further 700 disinfection stations will be installed at the front of the shops, complementing the already existing 3,500 stations.
“We will roll out automatic counting technology in over 100 stores to manage capacity and help customers socially distance themselves from other shoppers.
“We are also testing queuing technology in 50 branches that allows customers to wait in their cars before receiving a notification to enter the store.
“In our busiest times, we make sure all of our checkouts are open to reduce queues and speed the checkout process. Security measures like screens and distance signs help customers keep their distance.”
Sainsbury’s will once again offer priority queues for elderly and vulnerable customers as well as NHS ID carers.
This means that these customers can skip the line at any time to visit stores quickly and safely.
It also limits the number of people in the store or in line.
The message on Sainsbury’s website read: “We have limited the number of people in our stores and at our ATMs at the same time.
“We have also set up queuing systems outside of the shops and ask you to queue a safe two meters away.
“Our store teams will ask groups of more than one adult to select an adult to shop and ask other adults to wait.
“Children are welcome when they cannot stay at home.”
The Sainsbury website provides the following information:
- Please follow the official guidelines for your area and wear face-covering when shopping in our stores in England, Scotland and Wales.
- Greetings are available in front of all supermarkets and busy convenience stores to remind customers to wear face covers when entering the store. If you don’t have a face covering when you arrive at a store, our colleagues will help you find one.
- We’ve put face covers on all of our colleagues at Sainsbury, and all colleagues now wear face covers when working in the workshop rather than behind a safety screen.
- We continue to provide priority access to home delivery slots to the most vulnerable customers. Based on the information received from the government, we were able to contact over 600,000 customers and offer priority access.
- We have increased the number of home delivery and click and collect slots available and can now offer 700,000 weekly slots. This gives both our existing and new customers access to more slots.
- We are now able to accept new customer registrations online for home delivery and click and collect slots. We are now also accepting new Delivery Pass registrations.
- For vulnerable customers who have been offered a slot and who cannot place their order online, we offer a telephone ordering service. We now have five times the number of colleagues available to help you with this.
- In order to shorten waiting times inside and outside our branches, we have extended many of our branches’ opening times.
- Customers can now shop with us at any time during the store’s opening hours. However, NHS and caregivers continue to have priority Monday through Saturday from 7:30 a.m. to 8:00 a.m., older, vulnerable and disabled customers continue to have priority Monday, Wednesday and Friday 9:00 a.m. from 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 a.m.
- We have also introduced new disinfection stations for customers in our supermarkets so customers can disinfect their hands, baskets and trollies at the front of our stores. This is in addition to our colleagues who regularly disinfect all of our baskets and trollies before use.
- We have installed Plexiglas security bars in our gas station stores and have extended our opening times in many convenience stores to 10 p.m. or 11 p.m. You can check the latest opening times in your area before shopping.
- We have introduced a voluntary shopping card that allows people to easily shop for others in the store.
There is a limit of three on flour, dried pasta, toilet paper, baby wipes, and antibacterial wipes, and there are limits online for some items such as rice and canned vegetables.
Tesco asked that “only one person from each household come into the store to do their shopping”.
Tesco says: “We continue to do everything we can to ensure that everyone gets the food they need in a safe environment.
“We have installed a simple traffic light system in some of our larger stores to control entry and exit. When you are in the store, please follow the social distancing markers. If there is a line outside and it rains, we will distribute refurbished umbrellas in our larger shops.
“Hand sanitizing and cleaning stations are available in our stores, and we continue to have social distancing policies and signs. There are screens at checkouts to keep everyone safe. We encourage you to use contactless payment where you can.
“When you visit our stores, please follow the legal requirements for wearing a face mask. If you forget to bring one, you can buy packs at the front of our stores that you can open immediately and pay for later with your purchase The police can impose fines for not wearing face covering unless you are exempt. “
Waitrose encourages shoppers to visit alone, and says this will “help us manage the number of people in our stores by sending only one member of the household to shop”.
The guide adds: “Although this is not possible for everyone, we are very grateful for the support our customers have given us during this time of uncertainty.”
Waitrose has set a limit of two on items, including toilet paper and flour.
Morrisons has a limit of three items for sanitizer and toilet paper.
Morrisons advises online buyers to book a delivery date “as early as possible” due to the high demand.
Customers who are self-isolating are asked to mention this in the Delivery Instructions section at checkout.
Those in need of self-isolating and emergency food delivery must call 0345 611 6111 and select option five.
NHS employees will continue to have priority access to a store in Morrisons, which can go to a store Monday to Saturday from 6 a.m. to 7 a.m. and Sunday from 9:30 a.m. for shopping when it is quieter.
In a recent letter to buyers, Aldi CEO Giles Hurley wrote: “As new government guidelines roll out in different parts of the UK, I want to reassure you of the steps that have been taken to ensure you continue to be safe can shop with you. ” local Aldi.
• All of our stores have a traffic light system at the entrances to ensure that a safe number of people can shop at the same time while maintaining social distance.
• We have protective grids at all 7,000 checkouts and all stores have disinfection stations for customers.
• There are clear signs and social distancing markings that point out how to shop safely.
• We recommend paying by card or contactless where possible with an increased contactless limit of £ 45.
• We continue to offer priority access to NHS, Blue Lights, and vulnerable customers at certain times.
“Our colleagues wear face masks in the store, unless they are behind screens at the checkout or are exempted from them for medical reasons. Thank you for supporting us and protecting others by wearing one too.
“All of our stores are fully stocked, we have good availability, and we have regular deliveries, at least once a day. There is no need to buy more than normal, so please shop carefully.
“If you can’t make it into one of our stores, we’re increasing the availability of our new click-and-collect service, which is now available in 12 locations. More stores are being added every week.”
He added, “To help with social distancing, customers are encouraged to shop alone when possible and stick to one person per cart. We will of course allow customers to shop with others if they have no alternative.”
He said, “Most of our stores are open 8 am-10pm daily (10 am-4pm on Sundays). Our great colleagues will help you shop safely and find whatever you need in the store.”
“Our shelves are full and every Aldi store receives regular deliveries at least once a day. It is not necessary to buy more than normal. So please shop carefully.”
Lidl says: “We have put in place a crowd control system to manage social distancing in our stores. This includes positioning security guards or certain team members at our store entrances during peak hours to keep track of the number of customers entering our stores once.
“Please rest assured that during these difficult times we will continue to work closely with the government to ensure that the right measures are in place in our stores to keep our team members and customers safe.
“To help you plan your next visit to the store, we have set up a traffic light system so that you can find the quietest time to shop.
“Wearing face-covering in our stores is required by law in Scotland, England and Wales to keep everyone safe.
“If the plexiglass screens at our checkouts do not provide sufficient separation between employees and customers, our employees wear face covers as additional protection.”
Lidl has also made changes to its bakery. The website states, “While we always urge our customers to use the tongs provided at our bakery as a temporary measure, you will also find that you can use disposable gloves to safely and securely pack loose items for this reason our teams continue to suggest a selection of loose baked goods for you. We will continue to monitor this area of our business and will change the way we do things if necessary.