AS the country prepares to go into lockdown again, supermarkets will continue to have rules in place to protect shoppers from coronavirus.
Supermarkets will remain open because they are an essential shop under the rules for lockdown, which starts from 5 November.
Stricter rules introduced in September and rising Coronavirus cases lead to some supermarkets introducing limits on what you could buy, despite there being enough to go round.
The good news is that a fresh lockdown has not brought any fresh restrictions so far and there have not been signs of panic buying.
But some supermarkets still have some restrictions in place as well as shopping safety measures.
Here’s what the rules are for shopping in store and the buying limits you need to be aware of.
At Asda, there are no new rules in place for lockdown or plans to introduce limits or restrictions on purchases.
Marshals returned to Asda’s doors in September when stricter rules for wearing face coverings were introduced and they will remind people about having to wear a face mask unless there’s an exemption.
Anyone who forgets their mask will be able to pick up one at the door and start wearing it, then pay for it at the end of their shop.
Asda is advising shoppers to keep two metres away from other customers and staff, including at counters, as well as to avoid touching items, only picking up what you buy.
It’s also asking people to pay with a card or mobile device where possible and at tills it also has plastic screens.
Aldi did have some product restrictions in place but has eased them as it doesn’t “feel they are still necessary”.
There continues to be a traffic light queuing system operating at Aldi to manage shopper numbers along with a range of other safety measures.
Face coverings are mandatory, unless exempt, as they are in all shop and there is social distancing markets in store which shoppers should follow.
Aldi is advising customers to avoid busy times, which is usually 11am-3pm and to shop solo if you can.
And there are perspex screens at tills and when you’re there, pay with card or other contactless option where possible.
There are priority opening times for the elderly and vulnerable every Monday and Saturday when stores open 30 minutes earlier, and the same for NHS staff and emergency workers on Sundays.
Supermarket home deliveries
HERE’S what other supermarkets charge for their home delivery services.
- Asda delivery charges range between £3 and £5.50. There’s a £40 minimum spend on home delivery orders and a £25 minimum spend for click and collect.
- Iceland offers free home delivery, but you have to spend a minimum of £35 to place an order.
- Morrisons delivery slots cost between £1.70 and £6.90. There’s a £40 minimum spend on home deliveries.
- Waitrose doesn’t charge for delivery, but you need to spend a minimum of £60.
- Sainsbury’s charges between 50p and £7 for delivery. There’s a £25 minimum spend.
- Tesco charges £4.50 for all delivery slots. There’s a £25 minimum spend.
- Ocado orders less than £75 cost between £2.99 and £6.99. More expensive orders are free.
Lidl has no store-wide restrictions in place, but managers are able to bring in limits to their specific shop if they spot customers panic buying.
The supermarket said it’s not experiencing any product shortages and that there is good availability in stores and is asking customers to be mindful of others when shopping.
Lidl is asking shoppers to avoid busy times, usually between 8am and 11pm, and has guards at the doors to limit entry at busy times.
Face masks must be worn in store and there are social distancing markers and signage in place while at the checkouts, there are screens and contactless purchases are encouraged.
The elderly, vulnerable and single parent families should ask for assistance if they need it
There will be no changes to the rules or restrictions already in place at Tesco when lockdown starts on Thursday November 5, but there are some existing ones.
Here’s a reminder on what you have to do right now when shopping in Tesco stores.
Some larger stores have a traffic light system in place to manage the number of people in store.
And if a queue develops outside and it’s raining, Tesco is even providing umbrellas for customers’ – fully sanitised of course.
When in store, follow social distancing markers and signage, make use of hand sanitiser and cleaning stations and use contactless payment where possible.
There are plastic screens at the till, but it’s still mandatory to where a mask inside, unless you are exempt.
If you forget your face covering, there are ones available when you enter the store which you can wear immediately and then pay for with the rest of your shopping.
Vulnerable customers still find dedicated shopping hours to help reduce the risk and these can be found by checking with your local store.
And NHS staff, emergency services and care workers will get priority access.
Tesco brought back some limits on the items you can purchase back in September, while there are some restrictions which have been since early on in the pandemic.
There’s a limit of three per person in store on five items:
- dried past
- toilet roll
- baby wipes
- anti-bacterial wipes
Online restrictions include:
- face coverings
- anti-bacterial products
- some items such as rice and canned veg.
Tesco has also had a limit of 95 items per online order in place since April.
Morrisons is one of the supermarkets which has previously had a small number of restrictions in place.
In September it introduced a three per person on a small number of key products, including toilet roll and disinfectant.
We’ve asked Morrisons if these limits are still in place or if there are any new ones being introduced for the new lockdown and will update when we hear back.
NHS staff get a priority hour from Monday to Saturday between 6am and 7am and on Sunday, either at 9am or an hour before usual opening if later than that.
There are marshals on the doors at Morrisons, social distancing measures in place and perspex screens at tills.
And shoppers must wear a face covering as per the government guidelines, unless exempt.
The supermarket says it has good availability and there are no current product restrictions in place.
When visiting Sainsbury’s stores the rules it has in place will continue during in lockdown.
That includes wearing a face covering, unless you’re exempt, and there will be staff reminding you of this as you enter – they will also be able to help you if you arrive without a mask.
Here’s how to cut the cost of your grocery shop
SAVING on your shop can make a big difference to your wallet. Here are some tips from Money.co.uk about how you can cut the cost of your shopping bills:
- Write yourself a list – Only buy items that you need. If it isn’t on your list, don’t put it in the trolley
- Create a budget – Work out a weekly budget for your food shopping
- Never shop hungry – you are far more likely to buy more food if your tummy is rumbling
- Don’t buy pre-chopped veggies or fruit – The extra they’ll charge for chopping can be eye watering
- Use social media – follow your favourite retailers to find out about the latest deals
- Be disloyal – You may want to go to different stores to find the best bargains
- Check the small print – It’s always worth checking the price per kg/lb/litre when comparing offers so you’re making a like for like decision as a bigger box won’t necessarily mean you get more
- Use your loyalty cards – Don’t be afraid to sign up to them all. They all work slightly differently – work out what bonus suits you better and remember to trade in your points for additional rewards
There is priority access for NHS and care workers between 7.30am and 8am from Monday to Saturday.
And then for elderly, vulnerable and disabled shoppers there is priority entry between 8am and 9am on Monday, Wednesday and Friday.
When in store there are sanitation stations, perspex safety screens at tills and social distancing markers and signs.
The supermarket also advises shoppers to avoid busy times, shop alone, keep two trolleys apart from other customers and pay with card or mobile where possible.
There is a limit on the number of people allowed in store and there may be queuing systems for entry in place depending on how busy it is.
Marks and Spencer
Foodhalls within M&S stores and standalone foodhalls will remain open during lockdown.
Staff on doors will continue to manage the number of people in store
M&S also has a mobile pay option that helps you avoid queues in some stores.
With the M&S mobile pay and go app, you can scan your shopping as you go and pay at the end with it instead of at the checkout, though only on shops of less than £30 and you have to be a member of its Sparks loyalty scheme.
And it’s just introduced a way to book a shopping spot so you don’t have to queue to get in.
The “book and shop” service means you can queue virtually and arrive for a pre-booked 30 minute slot without having to wait.
Safety measures in store such as social distancing markers and signage, hand sanitiser and perspex screens will continue to be in place.
The rule on wearing face masks in shops will continue to apply too of course.
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