New rules that UK supermarkets introduced this week – including Asda, Sainsbury’s, Tesco and Marks and Spencer


Supermarkets in the UK have seen a surge in demand in recent weeks, to levels not even seen at Christmas.

As people rush to store their cupboards, new government rules on social distancing have been introduced, which means big changes for big supermarkets.

Stores have already introduced limits on the number of items people can buy in order to stop panic purchases, but this week has seen tougher measures on how shoppers use stores to be put in place.

Bonus announcements for supermarket staff and additional safety procedures have also been introduced to protect workers.

Here’s everything you need to know about the latest rules introduced this week:


Queues outside Aldi in St George

People asked to shop alone

Aldis hoppers are invited to do their shopping alone if possible with a single cart.

Exceptions will be made for vulnerable people with children.

Priority for NHS, police and firefighters

All day, key NHS, police and firefighters will be given priority before queues at Aldi stores upon presentation of valid ID.

This is in addition to early access on Sundays, where they can enter stores 30 minutes before opening.

Item limit

According to Aldi’s website, some elements are limited, including:

  • Four units antibacterial wipes
  • Two units antibacterial gel
  • 4 units hand wash and soap
  • 4 units shower gel
  • 4 units bleach
  • 4 units toilet paper
  • 4 units paper towels
  • 4 units fabrics
  • 2 units baby preparation
  • 4 units pasta
  • 4 units canned tomatoes
  • 4 units canned beans and sausages
  • 4 units partially baked bread
  • 2 units UHT milk
  • 12 units by online order on wines or spirits

On March 9, store and distribution employees at Aldi will also receive a 10% bonus on hours worked.


Social distance in Asda at Cribbs Causeway

Modification of opening hours

Asda has temporarily reduced the normal business hours of our stores from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m., Monday to Saturday, to clean and restock the shelves.

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Priority for NHS workers

Department stores have a priority time from 8 a.m. to 9 a.m. every Monday, Wednesday and Friday.

Purchase limits

There are limits on some products – the full list is available online.

Asda says it will also give workers a week of extra pay in June.


Social distancing from the cooperative on Gloucester Road

Security screens have been installed to protect the co-operatives and staff are also given a bonus, money to spend and additional time off.

Modification of opening hours

Most of our stores will now be open from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. to give teams time to restock.

Shopping for our vulnerable customers

All Co-op stores have a dedicated shopping hour for our vulnerable customers, their caregivers and NHS workers.

This takes place from 8 a.m. to 9 a.m. from Monday to Saturday and from 10 a.m. to 11 a.m. on Sunday in all our stores.

Find out where is delivered near you:

Item limits

The cooperative’s website says, “To make sure there is enough for everyone in your community, we limit the selected products to two per person in store, check your local store for details.

“Please buy only what you need. “


People queuing with carts around a Lidl in Shoreham

Social distancing rules

Security is located outside of Lidl stores, ensuring that they can keep track of the number of people inside when they enter one person at a time.

The supermarket also installs protective screens for its staff at checkouts and distributes visors to its staff.

There are also limits on the products.

To thank their employees, Lidl staff across the company receive a voucher of £ 150 each.

Marks and Spencer

Essentials set

Marks and Spencer followed the lead of Morrisons to launch an “essentials” box.

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Each M&S set costs £ 35 and includes the following:

  • Fusilli (500g)
  • Baked beans (220g)
  • Tomato and herb pasta sauce (550g)
  • Bolognese pasta sauce (340g)
  • Large vegetable soup (400g)
  • Basmati rice (500g)
  • Tomato cream soup (400g)
  • Thick steak (206g)
  • Rich roasted instant coffee (100g)
  • Tea bags for English breakfast (125g / 50 sachets)
  • Scottish shortbread squares with butter (200g)
  • Dark chocolate (100g)
  • Milk chocolate (100g)
  • Corned Prime Beef (205g)
  • Wild Alaskan Red Salmon (213g)
  • Vegetable curry (400g)
  • Large roasted and salted peanuts (200g)
  • Giant milk chocolate buttons (150g)
  • Percy Pig ™ (170g)
  • Soft white 2-ply toilet paper (pack of 4)

New security measures

The supermarket chain is deploying plastic face shields for its front line employees.

These shields are in addition to the plastic sneeze protectors installed at crates in UK stores.

M&S also pays staff an additional 15%.

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Product limitations

The supermarket has a restriction of only three items per customer on each line of products online.

Essentials set

Morrisons delivers its “essential” boxes to customers for £ 30, plus a delivery charge of £ 5.

Buyers simply buy the box online, choose their preferred delivery day, and then wait for an email confirming the delivery window.

The contents of one of Morrisons’ food boxes

With a box of Morrisons food, the customer cannot decide exactly what is being delivered, but the chances of getting it delivered quickly are increased.

Customers specify whether they eat meat or not, but there is currently no option for vegans or others with special dietary needs such as food allergies.

Morrisons staff will receive a six percent bonus on their earnings over the next 12 months, including new hires.


One person per household

Starting Friday, Sainsbury’s asked people to send only one person from their household to the store.

General Manager Mike Coupe said, “Our store teams will ask groups of more than one adult to choose an adult to do their shopping and have the other adults wait. Children are of course welcome if they cannot stay at home. “

Social distancing at Sainsbury’s Castle Court

In May, workers will receive payment for 10% of the hours worked since March 8.

This includes staff at Sainsbury’s and Argos stores, Sainsbury’s transportation and warehouse teams, Argos distribution, and all retail contact centers.

Coupe said, “We immediately removed the limits for Easter eggs because we know families often want to buy more than three, and we have a lot of them in all stores and online. “


Although Sainsbury’s has introduced limits for objects, it indicates that people listen and buy only what they need. He now plans to start removing the limits on Sunday, April 5.

Online shopping

Sainsbury’s will have added 230,000 additional delivery slots by the end of next week and says it is continuing to expand capacity.

The supermarket has given priority to elderly and vulnerable customers.


People line up outside a Tesco Extra store

Hours of operation have changed at some Tesco stores this week to make way for more delivery slots for customers.

Tesco has already hired more than 30,000 employees to meet the demand, and staff members have promised a 10% bonus as a thank you for their hard work.

The supermarket has been able to create 100,000 more delivery slots, but that means changes for customers.

Changes to opening hours

The stores that are the hubs of the online operation will not open until 8 am – to allow staff to “pick up” before the doors open.

Limit in store

Dave Lewis, Tesco CEO, told customers that there was no need to panic to buy – and it had dropped – because the shelves were filling up again. But there would still be a store-wide limit of three items per customer on everything.

Who can get deliveries online?

Priority will continue to be given to vulnerable and elderly people who are asked to stay completely at home during the lockout, but Tesco said it has made the decision not to limit the number of people signing up for deliveries .


Priority time

The first hour of operation in Waitrose supermarkets will be dedicated to elderly and vulnerable shoppers, as well as those who deal with them.

Some stores may close earlier than normal, but this varies from store to store.

Social distancing

Waitrose is:

  • Limit the number of customers in stores at a time
  • Presentation of screens to protect staff and customers
  • Encourage cashless and contactless payments

Online deliveries

Waitrose gives older, vulnerable and NHS workers priority access to delivery slots.

Waitrose also said he is considering a “number of options” on how to reward staff.


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