Supermarkets have had to implement new guidelines for customers to follow to help stop the spread of coronavirus. In order to help protect shoppers and staff, Tesco, Morrisons, Sainsbury’s and Aldi have also introduced a number of rules to help reduce the number of people in-store at any one time.
Supermarket giant Tesco has recently implemented a traffic light system to help manage the number of customers in-store at any given time.
A statement on its website read: “To make sure we’re doing everything possible to reduce the risk of infection for our customers and colleagues, we’ll be introducing new social distancing me basures in our stores soon.
“So over the coming weeks, you’ll also start to see a simple ‘traffic light’ system at the entrances of some of our larger stores, to help us manage the flow in and out.”
Hand sanitiser stations are also placed at the entrance of stores as well as a disinfectant spray to encourage shoppers to wipe down their basket and trolley upon entering a store.
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Tesco CEO Dave Lewis said that panic buying is “unnecessary” and that it “creates a tension in the supply chain”.
In all Tesco Extras, Superstores and Metros, vulnerable and elderly customers are eligible for a priority shopping hour which is every Wednesday and Sunday between 9am and 10am.
NHS, emergency services and care workers also have priority access to the store to help them shop.
If there is a long queue outside, then customers eligible can go to the front of the queue and show their valid work ID.
Tesco has also introduced some buying restrictions to help alleviate the stress on the supply chain including pasta, flour, toilet roll, baby wipes and antibacterial wipes.
Morrisons is encouraging customers to book their food shop delivery well in advance due to high demand.
They are also running a next-day doorstep delivery service for customers who are self-isolating or unable to get to a Morrisons store.
Those who are self-isolating and in need of an emergency grocery delivery need to phone 0345 611 6111 and select option five.
NHS workers also still have priority access to a Morrisons store who can visit a store from 6-7am, Monday to Saturday, and 9:30am on Sundays to be able to shop when it is quieter.
The supermarkets are also managing queues outside of the store by allowing customers with a basket to skip the queue.
Customers who are doing a smaller shop can gain quicker entry into the store where three customers who are only carrying a basket can enter for every one person with a trolley.
Queueing systems outside of Sainsbury’s stores will be implemented when needed and only one adult per household will be allowed into the shop at any one time.
Customers should also remember to socially distance in-store and when queuing.
While there are no current buying restrictions, the supermarket encourages people to shop carefully and only buy the food that they need.
Sainsbury’s is also prioritising elderly and vulnerable customers for online delivery slots but there is no current confirmation on how long customers will need to wait for a slot.
Elderly and vulnerable customers still have priority entry from 8am to 9am on Monday, Wednesday and Friday while NHS staff and care workers still have priority entry from 7:30am to 8am between Monday and Saturday.
Discount retailer Aldi hasn’t implemented any buying restrictions but encourages customers to shop for what they need.
Customers must adhere to the social distancing markers in-store and try to shop during quieter times.
It was also one of the first supermarkets to implement the traffic light system which indicates when a customer can enter and when they must form a queue outside.
Quieter times to visit the store include late in the evening before they close and early in the morning just after opening.
In a letter to Aldi customers, CEO Giles Hurley wrote: “I would like to reassure you that our stores remain fully stocked and ask that you continue to shop considerately. There is no need to buy more than you usually would.
“We have remained open for our customers throughout the pandemic and will continue to have daily deliveries, often multiple times a day, across all of our products.”
NHS staff and emergency service workers can also gain priority access into an Aldi store with their valid ID.