Major supermarket chains across the UK have adjusted opening times and introduced new rules this week as lockdown loosens.
Following Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s address to the nation on Sunday evening and in line with the subsequent release of new government guidance on Monday afternoon, which has seen lockdown restrictions loosen for the first time since they were imposed, many major supermarket chains across the country have made some new changes.
Retailers have released adjustments to opening hours, introduced new or updated rules for shoppers and have offered fresh guidance for in-store customer conduct.
Here’s everything you need to know before making a trip to the supermarket this week.
Opening times at Asda have been adjusted this week to offer reduced hours.
The retailer has also advised shoppers on what are likely to be the quietest times to visit their local Asda branches for essential shopping.
Via a statement on Asda’s website, the supermarket said: “We have temporarily reduced the normal opening hours of our stores to 8am – 10pm Monday to Saturday to ensure we can clean and fully re-stock our shelves ready for our customers.”
Asda has that the quietest times to shop in store are typically between 8pm – 10pm on Monday to Saturday.
For more information on your local store, please refer to Asda’s store locator here.
Morrisons has introduced new queuing rules for shoppers who are in line without a trolley.
The new ‘speedy lanes’ means that shoppers who are intending on only purchasing a few items and not a trolley-full, won’t have to queue for as long.
Speaking on the introduction of these new lanes, Morrisons’ Chief Executive, David Potts, said: “It’s fair that customers doing smaller shopping trips should queue for less time too.”
“Speedy Shopping will ensure that Morrisons stores will be more convenient for customers wanting a small basket of items.”
For more information on your local store, please refer to Morrisons’ store locator here.
Following the latest release of government guidance on Monday afternoon, members of the public are strongly advised to wear face coverings in situations where sufficient social distancing cannot be observed.
The guidance states that: “If you can, wear a face covering in an enclosed space where social distancing isn’t possible and where you will come into contact with people you do not normally meet. This is most relevant for short periods indoors in crowded areas, for example on public transport or in some shops.”
Further according to government guidance, here are some other changes that have either already been put in place, are speculated to be in the process of being put in place, or are likely to come into effect very soon at supermarkets across the UK.
Do note that these changes are not specific to/will not apply to all retailers and branches:
- One-way aisle systems: Many supermarket chains have already began introducing one-way aisle systems to ensure shoppers are able to correctly adhere to necessary social distancing measures.
- Priority shopping hours: To support the vital work of the NHS staff, care workers, key workers, elderly and vulnerable people, most supermarket chains have introduced priority shopping hours in store and customers are advised to check this at their local retailer/branch before making any trips.
- Purchasing limits: Supermarkets will occasionally place purchase limits on certain products that are in high demand, but this is not the case at every store and it differs at each retailer.
- In-store counter closures: In order to prioritise getting the essential products onto shelves, many supermarkets have made the decision to temporarily close certain in-store food counters, but it is likely that customers may see these begin to reopen at certain retailers as lockdown loosens.
- Customer limits: As is now already fairly standard procedure for most retailers and branches, the number of customers in stores will be limited at any one time so that social distancing can be correctly observed.
- One adult per trolley: A rule that is already in effect at many retailers in branches across the country, a one adult per trolley system is designed to help maintain necessary social distancing measures and limit the number of customers in stores at any one time.
- Perspex screens at checkouts: Many retailers either have, or are in the process of, installing perspex screens at checkouts and kiosks to help protect staff and customer exposure.
- Contactless payments: Many supermarket retailers are encouraging customers to make use of contactless credit and debit card payments where possible and have increased the maximum spending limit accordingly.
More to follow.
For the latest information, guidance and support during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic in the UK, please do refer to the gov.uk website here.