The current Coronavirus situation means that grocery shopping has changed dramatically in the last few days, and continues to do so. Here's the latest information on supermarket shopping from the main stores, the new measures that have been implemented, and what is means for shoppers.
All UK supermarkets are implementing some or all of these measures:
- purchasing limits on high demand items, or on all items
- dedicated shopping hours for the elderly and most vulnerable
- reduced opening hours
- temporary closures of in-store cafes, deli counters etc
Read on for information for specific stores:
Waitrose & John Lewis Coronairus Shopping Guidelines
From Friday 20 March, the first opening hour in Waitrose*supermarkets will be
dedicated to elderly and vulnerable shoppers, as well as those who
look after them.
The John Lewis Partnership has also announced that from Monday 23rd March, its network of Waitrose shops will set aside a proportion of hard-to-find items exclusively for NHS staff.
A batch of essential products from every delivery that arrives into its stores will be set aside and protected exclusively for NHS staff, on production of an NHS card.
Waitrose staff have been told that wherever possible, they are to reserve core grocery items to help get crucial basics to NHS staff working around the clock during the coronavirus pandemic.
Meanwhile, NHS staff at Waitrose stores are now being given priority checkout service – through either dedicated NHS checkouts, staff opening up new tills for them as needed, or moving to them to the front of the queue.
Marks and Spencer Coronavirus Shopping Guidelines
Marks and Spencer* are starting dedicated shopping for the first hour of trading on certain days for selected shoppers. On Mondays and Thursdays the first hour of trading is reserved for the elderly and vulnerable, and on Tuesdays and Fridays it will be for NHS staff and Emergency Workers.
Marks and Spencer have temporarily closed their Food To Order service* due to the current situation, and you can cancel or get refunds by contacting M&S direct.
Asda Coronavirus / Covid-19 Guidelines
Asda* are continuing to keep stores open, as well as having new guidelines for online grocery shopping.
Also, on Friday 20th March, from store opening until 9am, they are going to make their larger stores available "for the most vulnerable people – and those caring for them, to let them shop and get what they need."
You can find out the opening time of your local store by clicking here*. Asda are asking other customers to help by leaving their shopping until later in the day.
They say "We are working really hard to keep our shelves stocked and deliver as many orders as we possibly can to keep serving your community. Please shop responsibly and just buy what you need so that everyone has access to the essentials."
- implementing a a two item limit on purchasing items like hand sanitizer and cleaning products
- asking customers who can be flexible in their delivery slots to consider less popular delivery times.
- delivery drivers are equipped with sanitizer spray so they can continually ensure the delivery operation remains clean and hygienic and totes can be wiped down where necessary.
- Should any of our customers be self-isolating, we would ask that they advise us of this in the ‘Other Information’ section when placing their order and tell us where they would like us to leave their order (e.g. on the doorstep, at the front gate etc.). Our drivers will then wear disposable gloves when delivering orders and use bags to deliver shopping, rather than plastic totes. Our drivers will leave the order at the requested location and make the customer aware the delivery has arrived by ringing the doorbell or knocking on the door. If the shopping isn’t collected quickly, drivers will call the customer. If the customer does not respond then the order will be cancelled and taken back to store with the customer receiving a full refund.
Sainsbury's Coronavirus / Covid-19 Guidelines
Sainsbury's* has also implemented shopping limits on selected items like cleaning products, both online and in stores. Sainsbury's asks online customers who are self-isolating to:
"Please use the delivery instructions box to let us know if you are self-isolating. For already scheduled orders this can be done by amending the order and filling in delivery instructions at checkout. Otherwise this can be found in My Account > My addresses > Add your delivery instructions. This will allow us to deliver your order safely."
They are also setting aside the first trading hour of the day exclusively for elderly and vulnerable customers on Thursday 19th March 2020.
In addition to this, from Monday 23rd March, elderly and vulnerable customers (those over 70 years old or have a disability will have priority to online delivery slots.
Tesco Coronavirus / Covid-19 Guidelines
As with the other big supermarkets,Tesco have had to make some adjustments to allow fair access to groceries for as many people as possible.
They've placed a five-item restriction on hand wash, soaps, anti-bacterial wipes, milk and pasta.
As well as these measures, they are closing at 10pm and reopening at 6am in their 24-hr stores. These opening hours will be in place for the foreseeable future.
From Wednesday 18th March, Tesco Ireland will introduce special time for over 65's and family carers. After which it'll be Monday, Wednesday and Friday mornings up to 9am and staff will be on standby to give a helping hand to anyone that needs it. We believe this is happening in Irish stores only at present, but we will let you know if they roll it out to their UK stores.
Morrisons Coronavirus / Covid-19 Guidelines
Morrisons have updated their guidance for online shopping* which includes:
- "a maximum order number on selected products so we can make sure our customers still have access to essential products."
- if you're isolating / in self-quarantine: "When it's time for your order to be delivered, it's essential that you let us know if you are self-isolating so our delivery drivers can take the necessary precautions when fulfilling your order. This will include placing your order on your doorstep and contacting you via telephone to ensure it's received. As such, please make sure your contact details are up to date in your account, and update us on your isolation status under the 'delivery instructions' section of your account."
- stopping carrier bag return
Aldi Coronavirus Shopping Guidelines
Aldi have implemented a purchasing limit to discourage bulk buying, so customers can buy a maximum of four of any item in stores. They have also increased their number of store deliveries to keep their stores stocked with essentials. You can read the full CEO statementhere*.
Iceland / The Food Warehouse Priority Shopping For The Elderly During Coronavirus Outbreak
Iceland* and The Food Warehouse*have just announced early opening hours in their stores for vulnerable people and the elderly, as a response to the Covid-19 outbreak. The Food Warehouse will be opening there stores exclusively to the elderly and most each day from 8am to 9am, starting from Wednesday 18th March. Iceland are also implementing a similar priority shopping time for the elderly, though at present it is dependent on local store resources and only on Wednesdays.
Online grocery deliveries have also had some changes implemented. Click here to read the Iceland Covid-19 shopping guidelines.*