New supermarket rules and hours as Sainsbury’s, Aldi and Tesco release updates


Supermarkets are introducing new rules for shoppers as the coronavirus epidemic continues with changes in what you are allowed to buy and who is allowed to buy.

Sainsbury’s is the latest channel to say that people should shop alone and children should be left at home if possible.

A number of groups are lifting restrictions on what you can buy – either completely or relaxing the rules.

Others say that you can only use one cart when shopping.

These are the latest supermarket rules and hours as of April 3, 2020 for Sainsbury’s, Tesco, Aldi, Asda, Morrisons, Iceland, the cooperative and Waitrose.


Sainsbury’s released a new update on April 3 – lifting restrictions on the number of items you can buy starting on Sunday, except for certain popular items, including pasta, UHT milk and canned tomatoes.

Restrictions have been lifted on Easter eggs.

The group is also now asking that adults buy alone, not with a partner or with children.

Sainsbury’s now has an outside store queue system and inside store markings to enforce social distancing.

Every Monday, Wednesday and Friday, all our supermarkets will devote from 8h to 9h to serve elderly, disabled and accompanying customers.

The NHS and social workers will be able to shop in our supermarkets for half an hour before they open, Monday to Saturday. Anyone with an NHS ID will be able to shop from 7:30 a.m. to 8:00 a.m. on these days.

All our supermarkets will be open from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday to Saturday. With the exception of some stores in Scotland, Sunday business hours will remain the same (please consult the store locator for Sunday business hours in your store). The hours of operation for the local station and the Sainsbury gas station will remain the same.


All of our stores (with the exception of Express stores) will give priority to the elderly and the most vulnerable for an hour between 9 a.m. and 10 a.m. every Monday, Wednesday and Friday.

We are adding an additional hour to prioritize NHS employees every Tuesday and Thursday, as well as an hour of navigation before the crates open on Sunday.

Some Tesco Extra stores and larger Metro stores have reduced their hours of operation from 6 a.m. to 10 p.m. so they can restock properly overnight.

Purchase limits remain in place, with buyers limited to a maximum of 80 items and no more than three on a single line.


Morrisons currently offers one cart per customer policy. This supports the latest advice from the government that one member of each household should buy essential items once a day.

It increases certain purchase limits for items from three to four per customer and completely removes some.

There are vinyl stickers on the floors to indicate where to stand and line up, staff at all times control the number of people in the store, and the store has a dedicated hour for NHS staff in the morning.

To ensure that more customers have access to essential everyday products, there is only a restriction of three items per customer on each line of online products.


Asda has now urged buyers to come solo when possible and has lifted restrictions on fruits, vegetables and chilled products.

  • We have temporarily reduces the normal opening hours of our stores from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m., Monday to Saturday.
  • To support the vital work of the NHS and social workers, we are give priority to the NHS / caregivers in department stores every Monday, Wednesday and Friday from 8 a.m. to 9 a.m..
  • We put purchase limits on certain products in store and online, so there is something for everyone.
  • Our cafes and deli counters have temporarily closed to give priority to the shelving of essential products.
  • Floor markings spaced 2 m apart between cash registers, auto-scan, kiosks, pharmacy, optics and service desks to help customers observe social distance.
  • If applicable, the the number of customers in our stores will be limited at any time so that social distancing can be observed.


Daily key workers NHS, police and firefighters will take priority before queues in our stores upon presentation of a valid ID. This is in addition to early access on a Sunday, where they can enter stores 30 minutes before opening.

In addition to only one customer at a time (no couple or family), with one cart, there are new restrictions on the amount you can buy.

4 units antibacterial wipes

2 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

The opening hours have been slightly shortened to 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. every day, except Sundays when the hours are from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. This helps colleagues to restock products when the stores are empty.


Iceland opening hours:

  • Iceland will open its supermarkets early for older customers to visit before the stores open to the public.
  • Elderly buyers can visit between 8 a.m. and 9 a.m. daily to shop first.
  • The store has now established a daily window for NHS employees.

Monday to Saturday

First hour of negotiation – priority hours for the elderly and vulnerable

Last trading hour – NHS staff only

To check opening hours at your local store, visit

Marks and Spencer

The first hour of negotiation is reserved for elderly and vulnerable clients on Monday and Thursday and at the NHS and rescuers on Tuesday and Friday.

Temporary purchase restrictions are in place on certain products.


Acronym customers only.

Waitrose stores are open as usual.

The first opening hour in our supermarkets will be dedicated to our elderly and vulnerable customers, as well as those who care for them.

NHS staff have priority at checkouts.

Waitrose has removed its limits on fresh food, including meat, fish, poultry and other fresh products.


Our stores are open, but be sure to check out our store finder as our hours of operation will have changed during this time.

We have implemented product quantity limitations on a few product lines to ensure availability for as many customers as possible, and we ask that customers adhere to these measures. Please see in store for more information.


The cooperative will offer priority purchases to vulnerable people and those who care for them at the following times: Mon-Sat: 8 a.m. – 9 a.m. / Sun: 10 a.m. – 11 a.m.


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