So the second lockdown has begun, and while it sounds like the title of a bad movie, the reality is staying at home once again and only popping out for food shopping, work, exercise and essential appointments.
Since the first COVID-19 lockdown in spring, the UK's supermarkets have put several measures in place to protect our health, along with rules to allow us to shop safely.
We've compiled a list of the latest regulations of all the main food stores to help make your life easier…
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- Tesco continues to have social distancing guidelines and signage in place, as well as hand sanitiser and cleaning stations around their stores.
- They have protective screens at checkouts and are asking customers to pay by card if possible.
- The store requests that customers shop alone if they can to improve safety.
- Tesco has installed a 'traffic light' system in some of their larger stores to manage the flow of people in and out. If there's a queue outside and it's raining, the staff at larger stores will provide sanitised umbrellas.
- Customers are asked to wear a face covering. The store is selling face coverings to purchase at the front of their stores and you can pay for it with your shopping later.
- Tesco is still offering dedicated hours for vulnerable customers and giving NHS workers priority access. Check your local store's opening hours.
- The supermarket says their stock levels are good, so there's no need to bulk buy. They ask people to consider Christmas shopping a little earlier than normal to avoid the peak period.
- Where possible, Tesco has created separate entrances and exits to their stores, so that it’s easier to keep a safe distance from other shoppers.
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- Sainsbury's is offering elderly and vulnerable customers and NHS and care workers with an NHS ID priority access to their stores. These people can skip the queue at any time.
- The supermarket has socially distanced queuing systems in place outside their stores, supported by a greeter at the front of stores at busier times of day.
- Sainsbury's asks customers to wear a mask when you are in their stores unless you are medically exempt from wearing a mask.
- Sainsbury’s colleagues now wear face coverings when they are working on the shop floor and not behind a safety screen.
- The store asks that you only send one adult per household when you shop.
- Sainsbury's is asking customers to only buy what they need as stock levels are good.
- They would like customers to pay by card, and if paying by cash, to use the self-service tills. SmartShop is available in Sainsbury’s supermarkets, which lets you scan your own shopping and check out through a dedicated till area.
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- Customers must wear face coverings while in-store, unless they have a medical condition that prevents them from wearing one. Packets of disposable masks are available in every store and can be worn whilst shopping, before paying for these at the tills.
- All Asda store colleagues will now wear a covering while at work unless they have a medical exemption. Staff not wearing face coverings due to medical reason will be wearing a badge to help customers feel reassured.
- The supermarket has created 1,000 new Asda Safety Marshals stationed at the front of every store and in the aisles of larger stores to help customers.
- The store continues to support social distancing.
- Asda has introduced sanitising points and additional hand sanitisation stations in the busiest sections of all stores.
- The shop has applied a protective coating to all basket and trolley handles, creating an antimicrobial surface that limits the spread of bacteria. They also have perspex screens at checkouts and kiosks.
- Asda has introduced Scan and Go’ mobile to all of their supermarkets, superstores and supercentres. Customers can use their own device to scan their shopping and pack as they go. Just visit the app store to download the free Asda Scan & Go app.
- The credit and debit card contactless payment limit amount has now been increased to £45.
- The supermarket is offering all teachers and school staff a 10% discount on their shopping in-store until after Christmas.
- Morrisons is introducing temporary purchase limits on products where there is high demand, so they remain available for longer for more customers to buy.
- Cleaning of the stores has been increased throughout the day.
- The supermarket is asking customers at the checkout to pay, if possible, by card or smartphone to reduce cash handling.
- Sanitiser for cleaning hands and trolleys and baskets is available at the front of every store.
- In accordance with government announcements, it is mandatory for all customers (with certain exceptions) shopping at Aldi stores to wear a face covering for the duration of their visit.
- Aldi is operating a traffic light system to ensure that social distancing guidelines can be followed easily and safely. The system shows green for 'enter' and red for 'thank you for waiting patiently'.
- The supermarket has introduced trolley and basket cleaning stations and placed markers on the floor to encourage social distancing. Perspex screens have also been installed at checkouts.
- Every Monday to Saturday, Aldi stores will open 30 minutes prior to their usual opening times for our elderly and most vulnerable customers.
- During peak times, a designated person will be at the front of stores to keep customer numbers at a safe limit.
- The supermarket has a sanitising station at the front of stores to clean hands and baskets and trolleys.
- Floor markings and signs have been introduced to keep a safe flow of customers around the store.
- As with other supermarkets, face coverings are required except for those with medical conditions.
- Lidl has a traffic light system in place on their website to show customers the quietest times to shop.