With Gloucestershire and Somerset having been plunged into Tier 4 measures by the government, shoppers need to be aware of the new rules which apply to them when visiting stores like Asda, Tesco, Aldi, Home Bargains, Lidl, Sainsbury’s and Morrisons.
Here are all the latest supermarket shopping rules for Tier 4, according to Kent Live.
The government has said the following regarding shopping in the toughest Tier: “You can leave home to buy things at shops or obtain services from a business which is permitted to open in your Tier 4 area, but you should stay local.
“For instance, you can leave home to buy food or medicine, or to collect any items – including food or drink – ordered through click-and-collect or as a takeaway.”
In Tier 4 areas, when indoors, you must be on your own or with one other person from your support bubble.
This means shopping alone where possible, with supermarkets encouraging people to visit without family members if they can.
Asda has released a new virtual queuing app called ‘Qudini’, which is available for all 421 main stores.
It allows customers to wait in their cars until there is a slot available if the store is busy.
The 100 busiest stores will also have automatic counting technology which allows the store to control access and help customers social distance.
In addition, the supermarket has added a protective antimicrobial coating to several customers ‘touch points’, such as fridges and freezer handles, in all stores.
The coating adds a protective film which helps to kill bacteria and viruses and is being applied to all basket and trolley handles too.
A spokesman from Asda previously said: “Keeping customers and colleagues safe has been our priority throughout the pandemic and we have comprehensive measures in place to ensure Asda is a safe place to work and shop.
“These include dedicated safety marshals at store entrances to manage access, providing face coverings for colleagues and customers, hand sanitisation stations in the busiest parts of each store and clear signage reminding customers of the need to maintain social distancing.
Asda’s CEO recently told customers: “Our colleagues have been working tirelessly to provide the same level of great customer service during the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak.
“We have quickly shifted how we work to match demands across our range of products.
“We have introduced new initiatives to supplement the comprehensive safety measures that make our Asda stores a COVID-19 secure place to shop and work.
“These changes adhere to the advice from the Government and have been put in place to keep you and our colleagues safe.”
The precautions put in place in Asda supermarkets include:
- Face coverings must be worn when visiting stores unless exempt
- Safety marshalls will be on hand to help customers find tills available, answer questions and provide face coverings if they have forgot theirs.
- Hand saitisation stations throughout stores
- Antimicrobial handles – Asda is applying a protective coating to all basket and trolley handles, creating an antimicrobial surface that limits the spread of bacteria. The same coating technology (Biomaster X shield) is already used to limit the spread of bacteria in the NHS Nightingale Excel hospital
A spokesman for Sainsbury’s previously said that it was taking the pandemic seriously and constantly reviewing in store rules.
“Safety is our highest priority and our stores continue to have a range of measures in place,” they added.
These include Perspex safety screens between checkouts and additional cleaning, to hand sanitiser and signs inside and throughout stores which remind customers to keep a safe distance.
Queuing systems outside of Sainsbury’s stores will be implemented when necessary and only one adult per household will be allowed into the shop at any one time.
Sainsbury’s will continue to be prioritising elderly and vulnerable customers for online delivery slots but no current confirmation is available on how long customers will need to wait for a slot.
Elderly and vulnerable customers still have priority entry from 8 am to 9 am on Monday, Wednesday and Friday while NHS staff and care workers still have priority entry from 7:30 am to 8 am between Monday and Saturday.
Tesco has brought in a one in one out system which will be used to limit the number of people in stores at any given time.
Social distancing will continue to be maintained while customers are shopping.
The supermarket has placed staff at the entrances of larger stores to inform customers of the procedures in place and ensure they are wearing a face covering if they are not exempt.
A traffic light system has been implemented in some stores which will let customers know when they can enter safely (green) and when it is at capacity (red).
Hand sanitiser is readily available for customers around the store and extra cleaning products for customers to wipe down trolleys and baskets will be available also.
Protective screens have been installed at the front and back of all checkouts so they can all be opened to speed up serving time.
Some stores have created separate entrances and exits in order to maintain social distancing of shoppers.
Shoppers are also being encouraged to use contactless payments and card payment methods where possible.
Aldi has implemented a traffic light system and was one of the first supermarkets to do so during the first lockdown
The store is also encouraging shoppers to pick quieter times to do their shopping which is often between the hours of 7pm to 10pm.
NHS and emergency services staff will be given priority access to the store.
Morrisons has encouraged customers to book their food shop delivery well in advance due to high demand.
The supermarket offers a next-day doorstep delivery service for customers who are self-isolating or unable to get to a store.
Those who are self-isolating and in need of an emergency grocery delivery can phone 0345 611 6111 and select option five.
NHS workers also still have priority access to a Morrisons store who can visit a store from 6-7 am, Monday to Saturday, and 9:30 am on Sundays to be able to shop when it is quieter.
The supermarkets are also managing queues outside of shops by allowing customers with a basket to skip the queue.
Customers doing a smaller shop can get into the store where three customers who are only carrying a basket can enter for every one person with a trolley.
Home Bargains says: “We are working tirelessly to ensure that we’re keeping our stores fully stocked and to continue to provide customers with the great products and service you’ve come to expect. We are taking all necessary steps to ensure the safety of everyone shopping and working in our stores. The key safety measures we have in place are set out below, and we appreciate your continued support in implementing them.”
- We are limiting the number of customers permitted into each of our stores at any one time. As the store is approaching its maximum occupancy, our team members will ask you to queue outside until there is space. We are installing traffic light systems in our busier stores to automatically control access to the store.
- We ask you to maintain social distancing while you’re in shopping with us and we have put signage and floor markings in all our stores to help you.
- Please shop unaccompanied if at all possible.
- Our in-store cafes are either table service, takeaway only or closed in line with local restrictions as provided for by government legislation.
- When our queueing system is in place, we’re giving priority access to NHS and care workers, so please bring your ID with you (unfortunately this will not be possible in our stores with traffic light systems in place).
- We will also give priority access to disabled and elderly customers who may not be able to queue up for long periods of time.
- We know queueing is always difficult, but please be patient and respect our policy.
At the tills
- Whilst we are still accepting cash payments, we encourage our customers to pay by card, particularly by contactless or mobile, as much as possible. We have also increased our contactless card payment limit to £45, unlimited on Apple Pay and Google Pay.
- We have installed Perspex screens on all of our tills to provide additional assurance for everyone.
- We have introduced floor markings at all of our checkouts to help you to maintain a two metre distance when you’re queueing up.
- We’re open as usual. Please check the website for opening times.
- Sanitising Stations – we have rolled out sanitising stations to every one of our stores to allow you to sanitise your hands and the handles of your baskets and trolleys.
- Signage – you’ll see posters around the store which reinforce the importance of social distancing, hand washing and respiratory hygiene.
- Tannoy announcement – you’ll hear audio messages reminding you to socially distance and asking you to wear a face covering.
- Sanitising – our staff have access to hand sanitiser whenever they need it. You will also see them sanitising hand contact surfaces.