Under current lockdown restrictions, UK residents are only permitted to leave their home for essential reasons such as work, medical appointments and grocery shopping. However, a continued rise in cases has sparked concern of a ‘lack of visible protections’ implemented by supermarkets.
Earlier this month Prime Minister Boris Johnson urged grocery stores to tighten their rules to further prevent the spread of coronavirus. Now places such as Asda and Sainsbury’s will refuse entry to people without masks and have limited the number of people who can shop together.
Supermarkets limit the number of customers allowed in store
Supermarkets across the UK are now attempting to limit the number of shoppers inside stores in order to ensure social distancing. This has led Tesco to implement a ‘one-in, one-out’ system to control the flow of traffic. Lidl, on the other hand, has introduced a traffic light initiative which helps customers identify quieter, safer times to shop.
Many supermarkets are also attempting to cut down on traffic by urging shoppers to do their groceries alone. However, discretion will be used where necessary, especially in cases involving children or other dependents. Aldi announced:
We are encouraging all customers to try and reduce the number of family members they bring with them into our stores. Of course, we ask that all store staff use their discretion with children and parents.
Other supermarkets now enforcing or encouraging this rule include Asda, Morrisons, Sainsbury’s, Lidl and Tesco.
Supermarkets ban those without masks
Another rule crackdown has also lead a number of supermarkets to ban customers from entering stores unless they are wearing a mask. Morrison’s have now employed security guards outside the entrance to enforce mask rules stating that:
Those who are offered a face covering and decline to wear one won't be allowed to shop at Morrisons unless they are medically exempt.
Sainsbury’s, Asda and Waitrose have since followed in Morrison’s footsteps and have also introduced security guards and marshalls to challenge those not wearing masks or shopping in groups. Sainsbury’s chief executive Simon Roberts announced:
Please help us to keep all our colleagues and customers safe by always wearing a mask and by shopping alone. Everyone's care and consideration matters now more than ever.
What are the rules for going to the supermarket?
The way rules are implemented in each grocery store can vary, but to ensure your weekly food shop is as safe as possible it is best to follow a few simple guidelines:
- Always wear your mask
- Ensure social distancing whenever possible
- Shop alone when possible
- Follow any signage in the store
- Use the hand sanitiser provided
Alternatively, many supermarkets also offer delivery services so you can get your groceries sent straight to your door.