Couples and families are prohibited from shopping together in supermarkets

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Sainsbury’s and Tesco have banned couples and families from shopping together in a bid to help social distancing measures ahead of England’s new winter lockdown.

Supermarkets across the country have reaffirmed a set of rules to keep shoppers safe ahead of the latest coronavirus lockdown, which goes into effect in England at midnight tonight.

Stores such as Aldi, Morrisons and Tesco have already shared details of priority shopping access for seniors and NHS workers, which will remain in place during the four weeks of restrictions.

Sainsbury’s has also asked customers to shop on their own whenever possible to reduce queues and promote social distancing inside its stores.

In a statement, CEO Simon Roberts said, “Whenever possible, we ask that you send only one adult per household when shopping with us.

“It will help us manage the number of people in our stores and make your store faster and smoother.

Sainsbury’s and Tesco have banned couples and families from shopping together in an attempt to help social distancing measures ahead of England’s new winter lockdown. Pictured: Stock Image

Last minute shoppers were seen in long queues outside a Costco in Lakeside, Essex on Tuesday ahead of Thursday's nationwide lockdown.

Last minute shoppers were seen in long queues outside a Costco in Lakeside, Essex on Tuesday ahead of Thursday’s nationwide lockdown.

A notice on the supermarket’s website added, “Our store teams will ask groups of more than one adult to pick an adult to do their shopping and have other adults wait.

“Children are welcome if they cannot stay at home”.

According to Tesco’s advice, “only one person from each household comes to the store to do their shopping.”

Those at Waitrose took a similar stance, asking customers to “help us manage the number of people in our stores by sending only one member of the household to shop.”

The guide adds: “While it may not be possible for everyone, we are very grateful for the support of our customers during this time of uncertainty. “

Aldi also encourages customers to shop on their own, with current advice stating: “In order to help social distancing, we encourage all customers to try and reduce the number of family members they bring with them into our stores. stores.

Dozens of shoppers were seen lining up outside Costco yesterday ahead of the UK's second nationwide lockdown on Thursday

Dozens of shoppers were seen lining up outside Costco yesterday ahead of the UK’s second nationwide lockdown on Thursday

Queues of shoppers circled the massive Costco store in Lakeside, Essex yesterday as shoppers stocked up ahead of Thursday's lockdown.

Queues of shoppers circled the massive Costco store in Lakeside, Essex yesterday as shoppers stocked up ahead of Thursday’s lockdown.

“When necessary, we use discretion, but like all supermarkets, we ask people to come alone if possible to support social distancing in our stores.

It is not known when this advice was published.

British supermarkets first introduced measures banning multiple family members from shopping together in March, when Boris Johnson announced a draconian lockdown due to the growing pandemic.

He unveiled a second lockdown for England on Saturday, which will take effect at midnight tonight and last for four weeks until December 2.

By the rules, all stores except essential stores will close alongside restaurants, pubs, hairdressers and recreation centers.

The leave program which pays workers 80 percent of their wages will be extended by one month and travel outside the UK will only be allowed for ‘work’.

Bare shelves in a Tesco supermarket in Cambridge ahead of the nationwide lockdown, as customers stock up on bread

Bare shelves at a Tesco supermarket in Cambridge ahead of the nationwide lockdown, as customers stock up on bread

Egg cartons are bare after customers panic buying items before England's national lockdown

Egg cartons bare after customers panic buying items before England’s national lockdown

Mr Johnson said it was the only way to avoid Sage’s grim predictions of 85,000 deaths this winter.

He warned it would force doctors to choose between saving people with Covid and those with other illnesses.

News of the lockdown sparked a second wave of panic buying at UK supermarkets, with stores being forced to resume rationing their products after shoppers flocked to stores.

Supermarkets have urged people not to stockpile items, but customers appear to ignore this and are buying a large amount of non-essential items and cupboard products, as they did in March before the first one. national lockdown.

What are the rules for stores from Thursday?

Shops that can remain open:

  • Food stores
  • Supermarkets
  • Garden centers
  • Retailers providing essential goods and services

Stores that need to close (including but not limited to):

  • Clothing
  • Electronics stores
  • Vehicle showrooms
  • Travel agents
  • Paris shops
  • Auction houses
  • Tailors
  • Car washes
  • Tobacco and vape shops

Home delivery slots are also increasingly reserved, with many customers struggling to secure slots and complaining on Twitter.

A Tesco supermarket in Ely, Cambridgeshire, placed limits on essentials such as toilet rolls, flour and eggs on Tuesday.

The shelves were also laid bare in the aisles of Asda in Cambridge and Tesco in Ely in Cambridgeshire a day earlier.

Elysium Sexsmith said shelves of items such as pasta, toilet paper and diapers have been fully cleaned at their local Lidl in Luton.

“There was absolutely no stock on the shelves,” said the 41-year-old musician.

“There is a tea towel but no toilet paper… there were people picking up the paper towels and wondering if they could use it.

“I was completely in disbelief and literally walked out of the store shaking my head.

“At this point it hasn’t had a major impact on me… but there is the concern that I won’t be able to get essential supplies within a week if this continues.

Supermarkets have repeatedly encouraged shoppers not to stock, with Lidl’s website telling customers, “Our stores are restocked every day.

“This item that you want to buy ‘just in case’ might be essential for a more vulnerable person who cannot visit the store multiple times.”

A Tesco spokesperson said: “We have good availability in stores and online, with a lot of stock to browse, and we encourage our customers to shop normally. “

Ratula Chakraborty, professor of business management at the University of East Anglia (UEA), said the scale of the panic buying problem was not clear but could “get out of hand” without intervention.

“Unfortunately, some customers go crazy grabbing whatever they can to put in their carts… in turn, this encourages imitating behavior from other buyers,” she said.

“The result is empty shelves and the possibility of panic shopping gets out of hand.

“Buyers will naturally think about their own needs and fear losing if they see other buyers sourcing.

A UK government spokesperson said: “As the Prime Minister said on Saturday, essential stores will remain open so there is no need to stock up. Our message to everyone is that people should be considerate in the way they shop.

Shelves of toilet rolls are left bare after panicked shoppers buy, despite grocery stores remaining open through the winter in England.

Shelves of toilet rolls left bare after panicked shoppers buy, despite grocery stores to remain open during England’s winter lockdown

Panic buying of toilet paper rolls emptied the shelves of a Morrisons store in Norwich as customers stocked up before Thursday's lockdown

Panic buying of toilet paper rolls emptied the shelves of a Morrisons store in Norwich as customers stocked up before Thursday’s lockdown

“The UK has a very resilient food supply chain which has held up well this spring, and will do so again.

“We continue to work closely with food retailers and the food industry, as we have done throughout the response to the coronavirus pandemic. They do not report any overall supply issues.

Mark Hall, waste management specialist at Business Waste, added: “The second wave of panic buying that is happening is absolutely outrageous. During the first wave, we saw tons of perishables being recklessly stored to go to the landfill only in the weeks that followed.

“There is no shortage of food or toilet paper as we have learned from experience and we are just putting pressure on supermarket supply chains for no reason. We need to stop and think about the elderly and those who can only access their local stores for their weekly store and stop panic shopping.

“If we continue to send food waste to landfill, it will decompose, rot and produce methane, one of the most damaging greenhouse gases. Food waste is best removed through anaerobic digestion and composting to minimize negative effects on the environment ”.

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