Supermarket coronavirus rules – from no kids allowed to social distancing – The Sun

Supermarket coronavirus rules – from no kids allowed to social distancing – The Sun


SUPERMARKETS have been a focal point of conversation during the coronavirus pandemic as customers race to empty shelves – amid fears of shortages and a tougher lockdown.

To try and restore order, stores have introduced new measures to keep customers safe and well in these difficult times.

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Why have supermarkets introduced new rules during coronavirus lockdown?

Despite calls for customers to refrain from frequenting stores and panic-buying, long queues and short supplies have become the norm in the majority of supermarkets across the country.

This has forced them to implement new rules to ensure public safety and allow other customers a fair chance of grabbing supplies.

Packed stores make it difficult for staff and customers to adhere to the two-metres distance rule put in place to stop the coronavirus spreading.

Also, the constant flux of customers means that there is no time for workers to replenish stock for the next day, to combat this, stores have been shutting early to have enough time to prepare for the long days ahead.

Can I still take my kids to the supermarket?

No, they're not, but some customers have been complaining online.

It's been reported that some stores have been refusing to let parents bring their kids in.

Furious customers have been voicing their anger and frustration over social media about these measures, calling out some of the big-name stores for its treatment of single mothers.

One shopper said: "Asda are allowing one person only from each household. I just got turned away with my son.

"Luckily I could leave him outside if I wanted as he’s old enough. Kinda concerned for the single parents with younger children and no family/support though."

Asda refuted these claims on its Twitter account saying: "You may have seen posts being shared on social media suggesting that families with children won't be allowed into our stores. This isn't the case."

Aldi, Sainsbury's and Tesco, all who have been accused of the same thing, have said they don't have a ban on children in stores, with each supermarket saying parents are able to bring kids in if necessary.

But as most supermarkets are limiting the amount of people allowed in-store at one time, it seems that children can fall into that category.

Which shopping items are supermarkets rationing?

Rationing has been introduced by supermarkets for the first-time since World War II, in an effort to prevent coronavirus stockpiling.

Limits have been put in place on how many of one item you can buy per person across all products in all supermarkets.

In most cases this seems to be three or four items of any particular product per person.
Each store has different variations on the products its choosing to limit, but most have highlighted these:

  • Toilet roll
  • Handwash
  • Hand-sanitisers
  • Anti-bacterial gel
  • Pasta
  • Cleaning products

Tesco has added baked beans and milk to its list, while Sainsbury's has added all groceries to its list of limited items.

What are the social distancing rules in queues and aisles?

Everything has changed in the last few weeks in how we operate in our day-to-day lives due to the coronavirus outbreak, including the way in which we shop.

Supermarkets have issued new social distancing rules and how we interact with each other while doing so.

  • Keep two-metres apart from other shoppers (indicated by floor-markers)
  • Only touch items you intend to purchase
  • Perspex screens put up at checkouts
  • Number of people allowed in-store at one time limited (based on each store)
  • Use card over cash payment when possible
  • Cars to be spaced out in store car-parks


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Have supermarkets introduced one-in one-out policy?

Some supermarkets across the country have implemented a one-in one-out policy.

This is to help implement social distancing measures.

The rules have meant there can be long queues outside stores at busy times.

Are there different opening times for NHS workers and the elderly?

Since the coronavirus outbreak, some of the most affected have been the vulnerable and key-workers.

As the elderly cannot get to the shops as quick as their young counterparts and NHS staff are busy at work trying to keep coronavirus victims safe and alive.

This means that by the time they get to the supermarkets, shelves are often empty, causing widespread fury and criticism.

To combat this, supermarkets have put some measures in place to make sure that this doesn't happen in future, these include:


  • All emergency workers, including the NHS, can visit Aldi 30 minutes before stores open on Sundays.
  • There are currently no special opening hours for vulnerable and elderly customers.


  • Asda has given NHS workers priority every Monday, Wednesday and Friday from 8am to 9am.
  • There has been no mention of opening hours solely for elderly or vulnerable shoppers at this time.


  • Vulnerable customers and NHS workers can shop from 8am to 9am Monday to Saturday and from 10am to 11am on Sundays in all stores.


  • Iceland is offering "priority hours" that vary between stores for elderly and vulnerable.
  • The last hour of trade in stores is dedicated to NHS staff with ID.


  • There are no special measures for NHS staff in-store.
  • There is no silver hour as yet.


  • The first opening hour will be dedicated to elderly and vulnerable customers, and their carers on Mondays and Thursdays.
  • First hour of trading on Tuesdays and Fridays is for NHS workers.


  • NHS staff will have a designated time slot between 7am and 8am throughout the week.


  • Will be open to the elderly between 8am and 9am every Monday, Wednesday and Friday.
  • NHS workers slot will be between  7.30am and 8am Monday to Saturday.


  • The first opening hour of all its supermarket times will be dedicated to elderly and vulnerable customers.
  • NHS staff who show a valid ID card are able to shop for an hour before normal opening hours every Sunday.


  • Waitrose is giving a priority checkout service to NHS workers and the elderly when it opens.

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