SUPERMARKETS across the UK have been running out of delivery slots due to the intense demand brought on by millions who are self-isolating to fight coronavirus.
Stores including Tesco, Morrisons, Sainsbury’s and Asda have also started rationing products as extreme demand over the coronavirus outbreak has panicked shoppers into stockpiling household essentials.
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It has meant delivery slots have been selling out across the majority of the big grocers, in scenes described by customers as “worse than Christmas”.
While in measures not seen since World War Two, some supermarkets are now limiting the amount of each item shoppers can buy to try and make sure everyone has access to their products.
We’ve rounded up everything you need to know about what limits are in place, and which supermarkets are still doing home deliveries.
It comes as the number of cases of coronavirus, also known as Covid-19, has jumped to over 38,000 in the UK, with 3,645 deaths reported as of April 2.
Supermarkets are now allowed to share vans, stock and staff after the Government took unprecedented action to “feed the nation”.
Which supermarkets are still delivering?
Delivery slots may become available over the next few days, so customers might want to keep regularly checking each supermarket.
Supermarkets like Sainsbury’s have also been contacting their elderly and vulnerable online customers to offer support and special slots that most people won’t have access to.
Some stores are recommending that customers try their click and collect service too.
Lidl does not offer home delivery on its food items, and Ocado has temporarily shut down its app and website due to extreme demand.
Here’s this week’s breakdown
We tried to book delivery slots on Wednesday, April 1, using The Sun’s London Bridge office postcode, SE1 9GF, as a representative sample.
It is in a high population area but should also be well supplied because it’s in Central London.
Any closures listed apply nationally.
Please check your area to see if you have better availability.
Aldi has had to extend its delivery time frame for all deliveries to 3-10 working days.
Asda is now only showing slots for the next week. We couldn’t find any delivery slots available on the Asda website up to the April 10 cut off.
Co-op has a 20 item cap on online deliveries and is hiring to increase capacity. It is now working with Deliveroo to get groceries out, but delivery services are currently limited to London, Bristol, Brighton, Manchester, Southampton and Bournemouth.
Iceland is now limited to OAPs, self-isolating and disabled people and only offers slots for the elderly and vulnerable a week in advance; right now that’s up until April 7. Using a family OAP ID I still couldn’t get anything.
M&S has stopped taking food deliveries but is still delivering clothes and homeware. Furniture will be left at the door due to social distancing measures so be wary of the fact that you may need to haul it around the house yourself before you order.
Ocado is only delivering to existing customers.
Morrisons was also completely sold out of delivery slots when we searched right up to April 30. It is notable that they are offering £35 twenty item boxes of essentials, including bread, milk and toilet roll that has been designed to feed two adults for a week, if you can get someone to fetch it for you, as it can now takes up to an hour just to book anything in some places. They reported that their delivery services are overwhelmed nationally.
Sainsbury’s currently has no slots available for delivery or click and collect for the next three weeks, but it has prioritised delivery slots for elderly, disabled and vulnerable customers who may be able to get priority slots by calling 0800 953 4988 if you haven’t already had an email.
Tesco is expanding its home delivery and click and collect capacity to around 780,000 slots this week. In spite of this, London Bridge slots are rammed for the next three weeks.
Waitrose has stopped taking orders for now while they prioritise those most in need. Customers who already have slots booked can amend and add to them.
Supermarket home deliveries during coronavirus lockdown
Tesco do home deliveries with a £25 minimum spend and an 80-item limit. Slots are released every midnight.
Asda do deliveries with a £40 minimum spend and Click & Collect with a £25 minimum spend.
Iceland home deliveries have a £35 minimum spend, but are limited to elderly and vulnerable customers.
Morrisons has a £40 minimum spend on home deliveries and also provide £30 food boxes of essential items with a £5 delivery charge.
Waitrose home deliveries have a £60 minimum spend. A minimum of 25 per cent of products are reserved for elderly and vulnerable customers.
Sainsbury’s have a £40 minimum spend on home deliveries. New registrations are currently closed.
Alternatives to online grocery shopping you may want to consider
- Mindful Chef is a site that encourages healthy eating and does 16 recipe packs a week.
- Uber Eats will get you groceries
- HelloFresh is providing meal kits that include nutritional information and pre-measured ingredients.
- Abel & Cole do weekly grocery boxes with a £12 minimum order and £1.25 delivery fee.
- Amazon is doing grocery deliveries with a £40 minimum spend under Amazon Pantry and Amazon Fresh.
- Deliveroo is now doing basic grocery shopping.
Get more information on current store opening times and supermarket extras for NHS and elderly people here
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Which supermarkets have rationing limits in place?
The following supermarkets have started limiting the number of products each customer can buy to try and reduce stockpiling.
Aldi: Four on a range of essential items. Two per customer on UHT milk, baby formula and anti-bacterial gel.
Asda: Three items per person on all items except fruit and veg and chilled products. Two per customer on anti-bacterial gel.
Co-op: Two per customer on some items.
Iceland: Some items, such as long life milk, anti-bacterial soaps and wipes, restricted.
Lidl: Four items per person on household essentials, including cleaning products, tinned goods, pasta and rice.
M&S: Two per customer on frozen food, home products, groceries and eggs.
Morrisons: Four items per customer on a number of products, two hand sanitisers per customer and six bottles of bleach per shoppers.
Sainsbury’s: Three items per person across all products. Two per person on some high demand products.
Tesco: Three items per person across all products. Max 80 items in online orders. No multi-buy promotions except on Easter eggs.
Waitrose: Limits on anti-bacterial products online, including four soaps and four wipes per shopper.
Here’s how much food you really need to stockpile for two weeks if you need to remain in quarantine.
We’ve also looked at where to buy a cheap freezer to help you stock up.
And here’s what to do if you can’t pay your rent this month.