Supermarket rules for families and couples explained including Tesco, Asda, Aldi, Morrisons and Lidl
LOCKDOWN continues to restrict what we can do – including heading to the shops.
A trip to the supermarket is allowed though, and they are asking you to follow some rules to keep everyone safe – and this includes who you can shop with.
Here's a reminder of the rules for when you go shopping during the coronavirus crisis, and each supermarket's specific advice when it comes to families and couples shopping together.
The latest lockdown is the third national one in England and was announced by Boris Johnson on January 4.
It will last until at least mid-February and could be longer as the Prime Minister said the end of lockdown was an "open questions".
Supermarkets tightened the rules on wearing facemasks as the country fights the new strain.
Among the safety guidelines for shopping at supermarkets, there are rules on who can shop together – here's what you need to know about them.
Tesco is asking shoppers to shop alone where possible.
If you have kids or are caring for someone, there's an exception.
The supermarket tells customers on its website: "We ask that you please shop alone unless you’re a carer or with children.
It also says: "Children are absolutely allowed in our stores. In line with government guidelines, we’re asking customers to shop alone, unless you’re a carer or with children, and to only shop when you need to."
You can't go into stores with someone else then, even if you live with them, unless that person is a child, you're a carer for them, or you're with your carer.
So while you can go outside with your own household under the covid rules, for example when doing exercise, Tesco is asking that you don't go into its stores together.
Tesco says on its website: "We’re asking that only one person from each household comes in-store to do their shopping.
"This is to reduce the number of people in-store at any one time and help maintain social distancing measures."
If you need help shopping, for example if you have a disability, you can ask staff when you arrive.
"Colleagues are always on hand to provide support to any customers who need help," Tesco says.
You can save time when shopping in Tesco by using the Scan as you Shop handsets.
You scan items as you go and then pay straight away at the checkout without waiting for someone to put it through the till.
Asda is also asking people to shop alone if they can.
The supermarket is managing the number of people in store so it can maintains social distancing.
In a recent update to customers, Asda boss Roger Burnley said shoppers "can play their part too by shopping alone where possible" to help stop the spread of the virus.
While Asda has not issued any specific guidance on who can and can't shop together, if it's not possible to shop alone you can shop with someone else.
That means you can still go in store if you have no other option with kids in tow or if you are looking after someone else.
At Asda you can reduce your time in store and avoid the queues when shopping by using a mobile app.
One shopper shared how the Scan & Go app means you can scan items as you go round the store and quickly pay at the end.
In some locations, the retailer has rolled out its virtual queuing system run by a free app called Quidini.
The nifty service means customers can wait in their car instead of queuing outside one of the 421 larger stores if the shop is busy.
Aldi is also asking shoppers to go alone if they can.
In a notice to customers on its website, Aldi said: "Right now, we are all looking out for each other, and your safety continues to be our number one priority."
"To minimise the number of people in store at any one time, we ask that you shop alone where possible."
The discount supermarket also has signage that says "1 shopper 1 trolley".
Kids are allowed in stores with parents if they have no other option.
Aldi has said: "In order to help with social distancing, 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."
Aldi has not said there are specific rules on carers, but it may not be possible to go to the shop without them and the guidance suggests staff discretion allows for this too.
Aldi doesn't have an app for skipping queues, but there is a way to find its quietist times so you're less likely to be waiting at the checkout.
Here’s how to cut the cost of your grocery shop
SAVING on your shop can make a big difference to your wallet. Here are some tips from Money.co.uk about how you can cut the cost of your shopping bills:
- Write yourself a list – Only buy items that you need. If it isn’t on your list, don’t put it in the trolley
- Create a budget – Work out a weekly budget for your food shopping
- Never shop hungry – you are far more likely to buy more food if your tummy is rumbling
- Don’t buy pre-chopped veggies or fruit – The extra they’ll charge for chopping can be eye watering
- Use social media – follow your favourite retailers to find out about the latest deals
- Be disloyal – You may want to go to different stores to find the best bargains
- Check the small print – It’s always worth checking the price per kg/lb/litre when comparing offers so you’re making a like for like decision as a bigger box won’t necessarily mean you get more
- Use your loyalty cards – Don’t be afraid to sign up to them all. They all work slightly differently – work out what bonus suits you better and remember to trade in your points for additional rewards
At Morrisons customers are being asked to shop alone, unless they have kids, or if they need support, or are providing support for for someone else.
In a tweet to one customer, the supermarket said they are "asking that unless they have children they are looking after or a disability they need support with then we are asking that they shop alone."
Morrisons has signage up in its stores asking people to shop alone.
Shoppers at Lidl are being asked to shop solo too.
In an update to customers Lidl boss Christian Hartnagel said: "I would also ask that if you are able to do so, please do try to shop alone.
"This will reduce the number of people in store and help maintain social distancing."
The supermarket is also advising customers on its website that you can shop with someone else if you can't shop alone.
It said: "Whilst we are encouraging customers to shop on their own where possible, if you require assistance with your shopping you may be accompanied by someone that can support you.
"This also applies to single parent families and their children. "
It also notes the support you'll find in store includes and assistance bell at entrances so you can ask staff for help if you need it.
At Sainsbury's there is similar guidance: shop alone if you can.
In advice to shoppers on its website detailing a range of safety measures, the supermarket said: "You must also shop on your own.
"This helps us keep people a safe distance apart and also helps to reduce queues to get into stores."
It has also outlined strongly that people shopping together will be approached at the door and asked not to come in together.
It said: "Our store teams and security guards will be challenging groups with more than one adult to choose one adult to shop and will ask other adults to wait.
"Children are welcome if they are not able to stay at home."
Sainsbury's boss Simon Roberts said the shop alone rules will "help us limit the number of people shopping at any one time and help everyone shop and work safely."
At Sainsbury's you can speed up your shop and spend less time in store by scanning items as you go.
The SmartsShop app lets you shop, scan and bag your products via your mobile, then skip the queues.
You pay by heading towards a SmartShop checkout and you can also use a SmartShop handset in store instead of the app.
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