Coronavirus: Supermarkets

Opening Hours

Supermarkets across the country have introduced special shopping times for vulnerable residents and NHS workers, see below. In addition, restrictions on the number of single items people can buy have been put inlace throughout the country. 

supermarkets *Updated 21st March 2020

Don't Stockpile

In recent days, none of us will have escaped the headlines describing shops with empty shelves and people stockpiling everything from toilet rolls to pasta.

There is enough for everyone, and the Government is working closely with the supermarkets to keep the nation fed. But they need everybody's help to do this. 

The letter below - signed by all the major supermarkets - asks us to stop stockpiling. This is important advice. If you stockpile, it can mean there isn't anything left for others, who can often be the most vulnerable in society. 

Don't stockpile

Q&A

Q. Shall I aim to get all my food delivered to my house?

A. People can still go out to buy basic necessities but should only leave the house to shop for food and other essentials if they have to.

We will continue working closely with supermarkets to help them meet the demand for online deliveries.

We’re also working with local authorities to deliver essential items to those who are most vulnerable.

Q. The food I need isn’t in the supermarket; can’t I go more than once so I can get the essentials I need?

A. We need everyone to do their bit to stop the spread of the virus.

People must stay at home and should only leave the house to shop for food and other essentials if they have to.

People should do their food shopping as infrequently as possible.

Q. Isn’t the 2 metre rule broken at the supermarket checkout?

A. We need everyone to do their bit to stop the spread of the virus.

We all have a responsibility to keep a distance from others – including while shopping.

Food shops that remain open will be expected to comply with requirements on people to keep a distance from each other. 

Q. Supermarkets are crowded? Should they be doing more to limit people entering?

A. We need everyone to do their bit to stop the spread of the virus. We all have a responsibility to keep a distance from others – including while shopping.

Food shops that remain open will be expected to comply with requirements on people to keep a distance from each other. 

Q. What should supermarkets be doing to stop customers getting too close?

A. Food shops that remain open will be expected to comply with requirements on people to keep a distance from each other.

This includes maintaining a distance between customers and employees, monitoring the number of customers in the shop so they can keep their distance from each other, and taking steps to control queues outside the shop.

Q. I have a large family who are now at home. If I can only go to the shop infrequently, I will have to stock up which goes against Government advice?

A. There is more than enough food to go around and our food supply chain is able to expand production to cope with increased demand.

That’s why we are asking people to only buy what they need for themselves and their families.

If people buy more than they need, then others will be left without.

Q. Won’t the supermarkets run out of food if restaurants and pubs can’t sell food?

A. Our leading supermarkets have been clear there is plenty of stock available, and they are working around the clock to ensure people have the food and supplies they need.

There is more than enough food to go around and our food supply chain is able to expand production to cope with increased demand.

We’ve introduced new measures to make sure businesses can continue to keep food supply flowing, such as extending delivery hours to supermarkets to ensure shelves can be replenished more quickly and relaxing competition laws so supermarkets can work together to feed the nation.

 We’ve also relaxed planning rules so pubs and restaurants can operate food delivery services.

Q. So shall I get takeaway from my restaurant to ease burden on supermarkets?

A. We’ve relaxed planning rules so that pubs and restaurants can operate their own food delivery services. This means people can carry on supporting local restaurants and cafes who can now provide takeaways. 

Our retailers and the food producers who supply them are working around the clock to keep shelves stocked and the nation fed.

There is more than enough food to go round and our food supply chain is able to expand production to cope with increased demand.  

Q. Can I collect a takeaway or is it delivery only?

A. People can still collect their takeaways in person where restaurants remain open, but need to keep a distance from each other.

Q. I usually drive my elderly neighbour to the shop. Shall I stop doing this now?

A. Yes. Older and vulnerable people must stay at home.

We encourage people to support their neighbours, friends or family members with their food errands – particularly those who are in vulnerable groups.

This means getting them what they need while you’re doing your own shop, so that you are visiting the shop as infrequently as possible.

We’re also working with local authorities to deliver essential items to those who are most vulnerable.

Q. Usually my elderly friends and me all get in the car and go to the shop together. Shall we now all go separately?

A. Yes. Older and vulnerable people must stay at home.

We encourage people to support their neighbours, friends or family members with their food errands – particularly those who are in vulnerable groups.

We’re also working with local authorities to deliver essential items to those who are most vulnerable.

Q.You’re asking the public to help out those who are being shielded or self-isolating – how do they do this if not allowed to go to the shops?

A. Those without any symptoms of coronavirus can still go to the shops for essential supplies as long as they are doing so as infrequently as possible.

We encourage them to help neighbours, friends and family members staying at home with their food errands – particularly those who are in vulnerable groups.

This means getting them what they need while you’re doing your own shop, so that you are visiting the shop as infrequently as possible.

When shopping people should be considerate and only buy what they need for themselves and their families.

We’re also working with local authorities to deliver essential items to those who are most vulnerable.

 

nhs