Supermarket rules on rationing, deliveries and shopping explained as more areas move to high risk coronavirus tiers

AS more areas of England are moved into high risk coronavirus tiers shoppers may worry about what this means for their grocery shop.

It comes as London, Essex, York and other pockets of the UK go into tier two lockdown from Saturday, while Manchester and Lancashire could be forced into tier three lockdown.

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Only Liverpool currently faces the tightest tier three lockdown measures.

In light of this, we've rounded-up the major supermarket policies below, including what Asda, Morrisons, Sainsbury's, and Tesco are doing.

This covers supermarkets' policies on rationing, shopping in store, and ordering online.

But bear in mind that no supermarkets will be forced to close under the new coronavirus restrictions, and shoppers can continue to visit supermarkets if they follow coronavirus guidelines.

 

Aldi

Is Aldi rationing?

Aldi no longer has limits on the number of products you can buy.

What are the rules for shopping in store at Aldi?

All shoppers, unless exempt, must wear face coverings in store. It also has traffic light systems outside some shops telling you when it's safe to enter.

Shoppers must also remember to social distance.

Is there still a shopping hour for NHS workers?

NHS, police and fire service workers will be given early access to stores 30 minutes before normal opening on Sundays.

They will also continue to have priority access to stores.

How to cut the cost of your grocery shop

MONEY.CO.UK has shared some top tips with us to help you keep your supermarket spend down to a minimum.

  • 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

Meanwhile, every Monday to Saturday all our stores will open 30 minutes prior to their usual opening times for elderly and vulnerable customers.

Be aware that in England and Wales, this will be browsing time only. In Scotland, customers can purchase straight away.

Can I get Aldi deliveries?

You can only order Specialbuys and booze from Aldi's website to get deliveried to your home.

It does, however, have a click and collect food delivery service available at some stores, while Deliveroo sells Aldi products via its platform too.

Asda

Is Asda rationing?

Asda says it has good availability in stores and online, and it currently has no restrictions or item limits in place.

What are the rules for shopping in store at Asda?

Marshals have returned to Asda's doors and they will remind people about having to wear a face mask.

Shoppers that don't have a mask will be asked to buy a pack of disposable coverings.

Of course, customers who are medically exempt, for example if they have a lung condition, will still be able to shop without one.

Customers should also be social distancing from each other.

The supermarket is urging customers to use contactless payments over cash where possible.

Is there still a shopping hour still for NHS workers?

No, there's no longer priority shopping for NHS workers or the elderly or vulnerable.

Can I still get Asda deliveries?

On its website, Asda says demand for online shopping is "really high" at the moment and encourages customers to regularly check back to see when new slots have been released.

The supermarket is continuing to offer vulnerable customers and those living in care homes priority slots.

Iceland

Is Iceland rationing?

Iceland doesn't appear to be rationing any products at present. We've asked the supermarket to confirm and we'll update this story when we get a response.

What are the rules for shopping at Iceland?

Shoppers must wear masks, unless exempt, and adhere to social distancing rules in stores.

Supermarket loyalty schemes – which has one?

MOST UK supermarkets have loyalty schemes so customers can build up points and save money while they shop.

Here we round up what saving programmes you'll find at the big brands.

  • Iceland: Unlike other stores, you don't collect points with the Iceland Bonus Card. Instead, you load it up with money and Iceland will give you £1 for every £20 you save.
  • Morrisons: Morrisons' More gives customers five points per £1 spent in store. When customers earn 5,000 points they receive a £5 voucher.
  • Sainsbury's: While Sainsbury's doesn't have a personal scheme, it does own the Nectar card which can also be used in Argos, eBay and other shops. You need 200 Nectar points to save up £1 to spend on your card. You need to spend at least £1 to get one Nectar point.
  • Tesco: Tesco Clubcard has over 17million members in the UK alone. You use it each time you shop and build up points that can be turned into vouchers – 150 points gets you a £1.50 voucher. Here you need to spend £1 in Tesco to get one point.
  • Waitrose: myWaitrose also doesn't allow you to collect points but instead you'll get access to free hot drinks, and discounts off certain brands in store.

Is there a shopping hour for NHS workers?

Iceland has dropped its dedicated hours for NHS, vulnerable and elderly shoppers.

Can I still get deliveries?

Yes. Iceland is offering home deliveries but it is continuing to prioritise those on the government's vulnerable list.

Lidl

Is Lidl rationing?

Lidl doesn't appear to be rationing any items at present – The Sun has asked the discounter to confirm and we'll update this story when we know more.

What are the rules for shopping at Lidl?

Facemasks must be worn in stores and disposable gloves will be provided for those using the self-service bakery.

Lidl is still encouraging one person per trolley.

Is there still a shopping hour for NHS workers?

Lidl never ran special opening times for NHS workers or vulnerable or elderly shoppers.

Instead, an assistance bell is located at the entrance of stores, and a member of the team will provide help when the bell is rung. 

If there is a queue at the entrance of the store and you have difficulty queuing, you should also make yourself known to the security guard or member of the team at the front who will give you priority entry. 

Can I still get deliveries?

Lidl doesn't sell products online so there's been no change here throughout the pandemic.

Morrisons

Is Morrisons rationing?

Morrisons was the first supermarket to introduce rationing again in September but removed most of the limits a few weeks later when data showed people weren't stockpiling.

There is, however, still a three product limit on toilet roll and disinfectant.

What are the rules for shopping in store at Morrisons?

The usual rules for wearing a face mask and social distancing in stores still applies.

Is there still a shopping hour still for NHS workers?

NHS workers can shop from 6am to 7am Monday to Saturday and from 9am to 9.30am on Sundays (excluding in Scotland), unless stores open later than 9.30am, in which case they will open one hour earlier for NHS staff.

On Sundays in Scotland, stores open at 7am for everyone.

Can I still get deliveries?

The supermarket says there is currently a "high demand for delivery slots" and recommends customers book as far in advance as possible to avoid disappointment.

But it adds that it has Morrisons has five times as many delivery slots compared to before lockdown, to keep up with demand.

Sainsbury's

Is Sainsbury's rationing?

Sainsbury's isn't currently rationing items in store or online.

What are the rules for shopping in store at Sainsbury's?

Staff will be on hand outside all supermarkets and busy convenience stores to remind shoppers to wear face coverings when they enter the store.

Sainsbury's is also still encouraging one shopper per family.

Is there still a shopping hour still for NHS workers?

NHS and care workers still have priority entry from 7.30am to 8am Monday to Saturday and elderly, vulnerable and disabled customers still have priority entry from 8am to 9am Monday, Wednesday and Friday.

Can I still get deliveries?

Yes, online deliveries are once more open to all new and existing shoppers, although it is continuing to offer priority access for the most vulnerable customers as determined by a government list set-up earlier in the crisis.

Sainsbury's adds that it's increased the number of home delivery and click and collect slots available to 700,000 weekly slots.

Tesco

Is Tesco rationing?

Tesco introduced a handful of rationing rules in September after its supermarkets began seeing signs of panic buying again.

There's a limit of three per person in store on five items:

  • flour
  • dried pasta
  • toilet roll
  • baby wipes
  • anti-bacterial wipes

There will be further limits added to some items online, such as rice and canned veg.

There some existing online restrictions which have been in place for some time, including on:

  • face coverings
  • eggs
  • flour
  • anti-bacterial products

Tesco has had a limit of 95 items per online order in place since April.

What are the rules for shopping in store at Tesco?

Customers are legally obliged to wear a face covering while shopping and a member of staff at the door will remind visitors about this when they arrive.

How much supermarkets charge for click and collect delivery

HERE’S how much the major supermarkets charge for click and collect grocery deliveries:

  • Asda: Click and collect is free for next day or later deliveries. But you must spend at least £25, if not there's a £4 charge.
  • Morrisons: Click and collect is free all day Monday to Thursday, from 12pm to 4pm on Fridays and Sundays, and from 2pm to 4pm on Saturdays. Outside these hours it costs £1 but only 14 stores currently offer this service.
  • Sainsbury's: Click and collect is free for next day or later deliveries. But you must spend at least £40, if not there's a £4 charge.
  • Tesco: Click and collect costs £1.50 if you spend at least £25, if not you'll be charged an extra £4 on top.

Shoppers should still be social distancing and it is introducing a traffic light system at the entrances to some of the larger stores to help limit the number of people in stores at one time.

See Tesco's coronavirus Q&As for more information.

Is there still a shopping hour for NHS workers?

NHS workers can skip any queue outside stores by showing their badge but there's no priority hours anymore.

There is however, a priority hour every Wednesday and Sunday between 9am and 10am for vulnerable and elderly customers.

Can I still get Tesco deliveries?

Tesco has more than doubled the number of delivery slots to 1.5million a week since the national lockdown compared to 600,000 before.

It is still offering vulnerable shoppers priority delivery slots.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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