Supermarket Update: Rules, Deliveries, Online Etc

The website has produced a really useful update on the latest rules, restrictions etc at English supermarkets. Read the full article here.


Stores are usually open up to 10pm every day except for Sundays, when opening hours are 10am to 4pm.  According to Aldi’s website, there are no buying restrictions at the time of writing, but it has warned some items may be temporarily unavailable due to increased demand.

Aldi says face coverings are required to enter all Aldi stores (certain exemptions apply).  On its site, Aldi says vulnerable shoppers can shop during the first hour of trading on Tuesdays and Thursdays.

All stores will be open half an hour earlier on Sundays for NHS, police and fire service workers, as well as emergency workers with a Blue Light card. The latter includes social care workers, first responders, St John’s Ambulance staff and Age UK volunteers.

The number of people in store is being limited when necessary. Aldi uses an ‘automated traffic light’ system to indicate when customers can safely enter the store. There are markers on the floor to help everyone maintain a safe distance and paying by contactless methods is encouraged. Aldi is also advising people to shop alone if possible.

Contactless card payments up to £45 are accepted.


At the time of writing, opening times vary, so it’s best to check the store locator. Asda says it will occasionally put purchase limits on certain products that are in high demand.

While Asda originally said it would ‘strongly encourage’ customers to wear a face covering and let the authorities enforce the rules, the supermarket later created 1,000 ‘safety marshal’ roles to help remind shoppers to wear face masks, which it says customers must do (unless exempt).

On its site, Asda says packets of disposable masks are available in store that can be opened and worn before being paid for at the checkouts.

There are no special opening hours for the elderly or vulnerable, but a Volunteer Shopping Card will allow people to buy goods for those who cannot leave the house. This card doesn’t involve exchanging cash or sharing bank details and can be used for contactless payment.

The number of customers in store will be limited when necessary, so Asda recommends shopping by yourself if possible. Asda says its virtual queuing system, Qudini, is now available in all 421 superstores, which means you won’t have to physically queue outside. You join a virtual queue via an app and then enter the store when you’re at the front of the queue.

Across the store, there are floor markings spaced two metres apart to help encourage social distancing. The contactless limit has been increased to £45 at Asda.

Asda is currently not offering any home delivery slots over the next few weeks but it’s worth flagging that availability can vary in different areas.


Lidl says most of its stores are open as usual, but recommends customers check local opening hours.

Lidl says it may remind customers to wear a face covering but understands that some people with medical conditions may be exempt.

Lidl is monitoring the volume of people entering stores, so the number of shoppers may be restricted and there are floor markings to encourage social distancing.

You can now pay for your shopping via contactless for bills of up to £45.

You can’t order grocery products online for delivery – you must go in store.


Most Morrisons stores will now be open from 7am to 10pm, Monday to Saturday, while Sunday opening hours will usually be 10am to 4pm.

According to media reports, Morrisons re-introduced buying restrictions late last year and removed most of them a few weeks later, except for a limit of three items for disinfectant products and toilet rolls.

Morrisons will now bar customers who refuse to wear a face covering, unless they are medically exempt. Initially, the supermarket encouraged shoppers to wear a face mask and offer sunflower lanyards to those with hidden disabilities, so extra help can be offered.

Morrisons encourages ‘one person per trolley’ and uses a queueing system when necessary.

The supermarket offers a ‘speedy shopper’ queue. So, customers who want to do a smaller shop (with one basket) can gain quicker entry – there are also more dedicated card-only checkouts to speed up shopping.

Morrisons says three ‘speedy shopper’ customers will be let in for every person with a trolley, while marshalls can help people pick the best queue for their needs.

The contactless limit has been increased to £45.

The availability of Morrisons delivery slots vary by area – some areas might have less slots due to high demand.


Most stores are open from 7am to 10pm or even 11pm, Monday to Saturday, while Sunday opening hours will remain the same. It’s worth using the store locator to check the opening hours of your local.

Sainsbury’s has recently introduced a stricter face mask policy, stating that customers must wear a face mask unless they are medically exempt, and you should shop alone if possible. Trained security guards will challenge those not wearing a mask or shopping in groups.

Last year, Sainsbury’s said it won’t challenge customers without a face mask as they may have a reason not to wear one, but later announced greeters will be outside all supermarkets and busy convenience stores to remind customers to wear face coverings.

According to Sainsbury’s site, elderly and vulnerable customers now have priority access, so they can skip the queue anytime to quickly enter the store.

All NHS and social care workers can skip the queue at any time and gain priority access to Sainsbury’s, providing they have ID.

Only one adult per household will be allowed into the store. If you show up with more than one adult, one must be chosen to shop while the others wait outside. Children are welcome – but only if they cannot stay at home.

Sainsbury’s also revealed it has significantly reduced the number of customers allowed into stores at any one time.

There is a queueing system in place outside stores and markings on the shop floor to help everyone maintain a safe distance. Also, there is a queuing app available for 55 Sainsbury’s stores, which allows you to virtually queue.

If you don’t have a smartphone, you can be added to a virtual queue by asking a member of staff, who will inform you when you can enter the store.

Their contactless limit has been raised up to £45.

Sainsbury’s now accepts new customer registrations for home delivery and Click & Collect slots but prioritises vulnerable customers for delivery slots. It’s worth stressing that online delivery slots may not be available for a few weeks, depending on where you live.


Most stores will now close at 10pm (or 11pm) but it’s recommended that you check opening times for your local.

There are buying limits on some products, including toilet roll, soap, handwash, eggs and rice. If you’re ordering your shopping online, there is a limit of 95 items per order.

Tesco recently closed off areas selling non-essential items in some of its stores but reversed its decision and reopened these areas after many shoppers criticised the move.

“When you visit our stores, please follow the legal guidance on wearing a face covering,” says Tesco on its site. “If you forget to bring one, we have packs available to buy at the front of our stores, which you can open immediately and pay for with your shopping later.”

Similar to Morrisons, Tesco offers sunflower lanyards to disabled shoppers, so they can get extra help without having to ask.

Some stores will be prioritising access for elderly and vulnerable customers between 9am and 10am every Wednesday and Sunday (except at Express stores).

Those who work for the NHS or emergency services, as well as care workers, get priority access to Tesco stores and can skip the queue at any time (with proof of ID).

Tesco has many social distancing measures, including directional floor markings and updated signs around its stores.

There is also a limit on the number of people allowed in store as a traffic light system is being used for some of Tesco’s larger stores to let people know when it’s safe to enter.

It is still encouraging people to shop on their own (kids are obviously allowed to accompany you).

Tesco has raised its contactless limit to £45 in all stores.

The availability of Tesco home delivery slots is very limited, so you could be waiting a few weeks, but availability can vary in different areas.