Asda and Aldi have issued warnings to customers, urging them to only touch the items they intend to purchase.
It is one of the latest measures deployed in UK supermarkets to protect customers and help implement social distancing guidelines.
This includes priority hours for those at risk and one-in-one queuing systems to help control the number of customers in stores.
Last week, Aldi and Morrisons announced plans to extend their hours of operation while Tesco introduced one-way aisle systems in its stores.
NHS workers are also urged to shop early – often an hour before stores open to the public to make sure they have access to basic supplies.
The majority of retailers have also updated their websites with the latest guidelines.
Asda now says it hopes to prevent the spread of the coronavirus by asking customers not to touch items they don’t intend to buy.
The message on its website says, “There will also be clear signage, directional barriers and floor markings to help you get around our store easily and maintain a distance of two meters from other customers and our colleagues.
“You have the right to bring your children and other household members to our stores, but we ask that you keep this to a minimum to help us maintain social distancing advice.
“We ask customers to only touch the items they intend to purchase and use cashless payment wherever they can to minimize contact.
“There will be regular announcements on Asda radio to remind customers of their responsibility to apply social distancing rules, and to help you do that, we are closing all other self-checkouts until.” “
Journalists from the Liverpool Echo also spotted similar warnings outside Aldi stores.
The signs advise customers not to touch any of their carts until they are at the front of the store.
It’s about making sure each customer uses a cart that has been thoroughly cleaned by their staff.
The latest guidelines come after Iceland has been accused of treating NHS workers as “lepers” by asking them to pay for everything they touch.
The supermarket initially said the measure was intended to protect staff and reduce the risk of coronavirus contamination, but then apologized and removed the advice.
A photo of Iceland’s statement was posted on the UK Paramedic Humor’s Facebook page, along with the comment: “Thank you for suggesting that health professionals are dirty and unclean people.
“Thank you for making us lepers.
“If anything, Iceland – healthcare professionals are MORE likely to adhere to IPC guidelines by washing their hands thoroughly (as proof, feel how rough our hands are).” “
The post has been loved and shared thousands of times by sympathetic Britons.
The statement has since been deleted, an Icelandic spokesperson describing it as an error.
“This is an error that should not have been published on our website.
“We sincerely apologize for the offense this clearly caused, and we immediately withdrew this directive. “