Supermarket news: Rules for major UK supermarkets as lockdown laws change next week

Supermarket news: Rules for major UK supermarkets as lockdown laws change next week

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Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s next step in his roadmap out of lockdown plans will come into effect next week. From March 29, the rule of six will return, which allows six people from two different households to come together outdoors.

This rule will come into place in England only and will allow people to meet up anywhere outside, including private gardens.

Under the new rules, shopping restrictions will not change.

The rules in each major UK supermarket will stay the same as before.

This means that when you do go grocery shopping you must still wear a mask and socially distance from others.

Although most supermarkets have always implemented the same rules as each other, some specific restrictions have also been put in place by each major retailer.


Aldi has introduced a traffic light system and was one of the first supermarkets to do so during the first lockdown.

The supermarket is encouraging shoppers to pick quieter times to do their shopping, which is often between the hours of 7pm to 10pm.

However, NHS and emergency services staff will be given priority access to the store.


Asda is the only supermarket to have launched a new virtual queuing app called Quidni, which was introduced last year and is available at all 421 main Asda stores in the UK.

The app allows customers to wait in their cars until there is a slot available if the store is busy.

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The 100 busiest Asda stores will also have automatic counting technology, allowing the store to control access and help customers to socially distance.

Additionally, the supermarket has added a protective antimicrobial coating to several customer “touch points” – such as fridges, freezer handles, baskets, and trollies – in all stores.


Some Tesco stores cordoned off non-essential aisles such as kitchenware and clothing at the start of the third lockdown.

However, from March 22, Welsh First Minister Mark Drakeford said that Tesco stores in Wales will once again be able to sell non-essential items.

Tesco has introduced a one-in-one-out system when its stores are at capacity, limiting the number of people in stores at any given time.

A traffic light system has also been implemented in some stores, which will inform customers of when they can enter the store safely and when the store is full.

Hand sanitiser is available for customers in all Tesco stores, as well as extra cleaning products for shoppers to be able to wipe down their trolleys and baskets.


Lidl has no specific restrictions in place, except that the supermarket has asked customers to shop at quieter times and to, of course, wear a face mask if not medically exempt.


Morrisons has encouraged shoppers to book their grocery delivery well in advance due to high demand.

The supermarket has a next-day doorstep delivery service for customers who are self-isolating or unable to get to the store, and there is even a number that shielders in need of an emergency delivery can call.

NHS workers also still have priority access to Morrisons stores and can visit from 6 to 7am, Monday to Saturday, and 9.30am on Sundays.

Additionally, Morrisons is allowing customers with a basket to skip the queue, and three basket shoppers can enter for each one shopper with a trolley.


As for Sainsbury’s, the supermarket is still encouraging people to shop alone if they can, except for individuals with children, people who are carers, or people being cared for.

The supermarket has Perspex safety screens between checkouts in most stores, as well as additional cleaning, and hand sanitiser points.

Sainsbury’s said that queuing systems will be implemented when necessary and only one adult per household will be allowed into the shop at any one time.

Additionally, elderly and vulnerable customers still have priority entry to Sainsbury’s stores from 8am to 9am on Monday, Wednesday and Friday, while NHS staff and care workers have priority entry from 7.30am to 8am from Monday and Saturday.

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