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Supermarkets including German retailer Aldi and supermarket giants including Asda, Sainsbury’s and Tesco have updated their latest shopping restrictions. With a rise in coronavirus cases across the UK, grocers have announced the rules amid fear of stockpiling and panic buying. There are also still exclusive hours for NHS and social care workers as well as the elderly and vulnerable customers.
Most Sainsbury’s stores are now open from 7am to 10pm or even 11pm most days but customers are urged to check their local store before travelling. Sunday hours will remain open the same as before from 10am-4pm.
The supermarket is still experiencing high demand for certain products which means there are restrictions on pain relief as well as cold and flu products. There are also restrictions on buying face masks in-store.
Like all UK shops, customers are encouraged to wear a face covering to protect others however Sainsbury’s has said that they will not be challenging any customers without a mask when they enter a store as they may have a reason not to wear one.
There are dedicated shopping hours for elderly and vulnerable customers as well as their carers who have priority access from 8am-9am every Monday, Wednesday and Friday.
All NHS and social care workers will have priority access to Sainsbury’s for half an hour before they open from Monday to Saturday and a valid ID is needed to enter.
Only one adult per household will be allowed into the store and a queuing system in a place outside stores with markings on the floor will help Sainsbury’s keep track of how many customers are in-store at any one time.
Aldi stores are open up to 10pm every day except for Sundays, where the opening hours remain 10am-4pm.
The discount supermarket has helped customers by providing a chart on when the quietest time to shop is and it explains that customers who wish for a quiet shop should visit at night between 7pm-10pm.
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The stores are also open half an hour early on Monday to Saturday to allow the elderly and vulnerable to browse as well as opening 30 minutes earlier on Sunday for NHS, police and fire service workers, as well as emergency workers with a Blue Light Card.
Aldi has also installed a traffic light system outside of shops which indicates to customers when they can safely enter the store and when they must form a socially distanced queue outside.
Like most supermarkets now, Aldi also has a £45 contactless card payment limit to encourage people to tap their card rather than insert it into the card machine.
The retailer is promoting customers to comply with Government guidelines and wear a face mask when in-store.
Tesco stores will now close at 10pm but it is recommended to check the opening times for your local store to double check.
There is also a limit of 95 items per online order with restrictions on essential items such as face masks, hand washing products, flour and egg.
If a customer has forgotten a face mask when visiting a store, then they can purchase one near the front of its stores.
All larger Tesco stores are prioritising access for the elderly where they can visit the supermarket between 9am and 10am every Wednesday and Sunday.
NHS workers can get priority access to Tesco stores and can skip the queue at any time as long as they have a valid ID.
The supermarket is also encouraging customers to shop alone and there are floor markings both in-store and in car parks to help people maintain safe distances.
Asda stores are varying in opening times across the country so it is best to check your local opening times before travelling for a grocery shop.
There are currently no buying restrictions on any items but the supermarket giant says it will occasionally put purchase limits on certain products that are high in demand.
Similar to Tesco, packs of disposable masks will be available in stores that can be opened and worn before being paid for at the checkouts.
There are currently no special opening hours for the elderly or vulnerable but Asda’s Volunteer Shopping Card will allow people to buy goods for those who cannot leave the house.
All NHS staff and care workers can get priority access to larger stores every Monday, Wednesday and Friday between 8am-9am as long as they have a valid work ID.
The number of customers in-store is limited but there are social distanced markings outside of shops as well as a hand sanitiser and cleaning station.
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