As the challenges of food shopping have increased amid the uncertainty around Covid-19, several UK supermarket chains have prioritised opening at certain times of the day for vulnerable and elderly people.
On the Sight Advice FAQ website, a resource for blind and partially sighted people supported by RNIB, there is a range of useful information on a variety of subjects including how to arrange shopping deliveries and how to get essential food supplies if you are struggling financially.
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open 8 am – 8 pm weekdays and 9 am – 1 pm on Saturdays.
Supermarket Opening Times, Links and Info
updated 27th March 2020
From Monday to Saturday, the German supermarket chain will be open between 8 am and 8 pm. Sunday opening hours remain the same – 10 am to 4 pm (or 6 pm in Scotland).
Asda has placed limits on the amounts of certain products individual shoppers can buy.
Updates on Asda’s reaction to the coronavirus
All of its stores have a dedicated shopping hour for those at higher risk and the people who care for them.
Co-op hasn’t made changes to their opening times, but are restricting purchases to two per customer on some products, including hand sanitiser, soap, tinned goods, pasta, rice, long-life milk, sugar, baby food and nappies.
More information on the Co-op’s dedicated shopping hour
Iceland will open its supermarkets early for elderly customers to visit before stores open to the public.
Each day, elderly shoppers can now visit between 8am – 9am to get their shopping first. The final hour of trading Monday to Saturday will also be for NHS staff only.
To check local store’s opening times, visit iceland.co.uk.
The supermarket is opening an hour earlier than usual in order to let elderly customers do their shopping.
To check the opening times of your local Lidl, visit: lidl.co.uk/about-us/store-finder-opening-hours
Marks and Spencer
It has set aside the first hour of trading on Mondays and Thursdays for older and vulnerable customers.
More information for Marks and Spencer customers
Morrisons is expanding its home delivery service and introducing new ways of delivering groceries and more slots for customers, which will also help vulnerable people and those affected by the virus.
Information on Morrisons’ Food boxes delivery service
More information on Morrisons’ services
Although opening times haven’t changed, different Nisa stores are offering help to the elderly and vulnerable, by offering extended services to customers, including free deliveries.
To check opening hours for your local store, visit: nisalocally.co.uk/stores/
Every Monday, Wednesday and Friday, all of the chain’s supermarkets will dedicate the hour of 8 am – 9 am to serving older, disabled and vulnerable customers, as well as NHS and Social Care workers. Sainsbury’s says its existing online customers who are over 70 years of age, vulnerable, or who have a disability, will get priority access to online home delivery slots and access to Click And Collect services.
It says it has proactively contacted 270,000 customers who the supermarket chain identified as elderly or vulnerable.
More about Sainsbury’s opening hours
Tesco says it is prioritising older people and the most vulnerable between 9 – 10 am on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays, except for its Express outlets.
It says, having introduced floor markings to help shoppers distance themselves from each other, that its staff and “colleagues are always on hand to provide support to any customers who need help”.
A number of stores are now operating at reduced hours. Some Tesco Extra stores and larger Metro stores have reduced their hours to between 6 am and 10 pm, in order to be able to properly restock overnight.
Tesco is also introducing a special shopping hour for its workers and NHS staff from Sunday (22 March) onwards. Those eligible will be able to browse an hour before traditional shop opening hours.
In a statement, Tesco said: “They can come to our large stores one hour before the usual store opening time every Sunday, and will be able to browse the store and select their shopping before the checkouts open.
“All we ask is that they bring a form of ID with them to store, such as an NHS staff card.”
Find out more about Tesco’s access hour plan
Find out about accessibility and Tesco.com
First hour of store opening to be dedicated to older and vulnerable people and it is exploring ways to offer its services remotely.
More information on Waitrose’s opening hour changes
You can check for the latest information and find contact details for the major UK supermarkets on their websites.
Marks and Spencer: https://www.marksandspencer.com/
Sainsburys has a vulnerable persons careline – 0800 052 5500. It is attempting to prioritise vulnerable customers for home delivery.
Call wait times may be substantial.
People classified as ‘extremely vulnerable’
can self-register for support from the Government website (inc food parcels)
RNIB, jointly with other sight loss sector charities Guide Dogs, Thomas Pocklington Trust and Visionary, has written to supermarket chief executives to ask them how they are helping blind and partially sighted people. While we wait for their responses we have put together information we’ve found online about what they are doing to help disabled customers.
A round-up of information from the major supermarkets can be found on the inews website. Please note that information is subject to change:
RNIB Helpline: Call on 0303 123 9999
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The RNIB Helpline team can give you advice and point you to the services that can help you face the future with confidence.
original post on rnib.org.uk