Supermarkets are getting back on their feet after the initial pandemonium caused by the coronavirus outbreak. 

Most stores are getting back to offering fully stocked fresh produce and only have a few holes in stock left to fill.

However, the maximum limit of three items per customer remains across most stores nationwide. 

Shops are implementing a one person per household rule, however this does not apply to vulnerable people and carers, or parents with children. 

To find out when it is best to shop at your local supermarket, google your postcode and the store, e.g ‘Tesco’ and a chart will show you when the busiest and quietest times are. 

The changes implemented at each supermarket are as follows: 

  • Tesco

Supermarket giant Tesco has amped up its response to the coronavirus by offering 100,000 new delivery slots and hiring 35,0000 new staff in just 10 days. 

With around 34,000 stores nationwide the supermarket has temporarily stopped its 24-hour opening times, to allow for restocking. 

Many stores open at 6am or 7am and close at 10pm. To check for your local store, just Google your postcode and ‘Tesco’ and the opening hours will appear. 

Special opening hours are in place across all of the Tesco stores, except Tesco Express stores. 

Every Tuesday, Thursday and Sunday between 9am and 10am is the NHS shopping hour, specifically open to NHS workers. 

Alternatively between 9am - 10am on Monday, Wednesday and Friday is designated specifically to vulnerable customers. 

When selecting delivery there is also a self-isolating option, this tells the delivery driver to leave the items at your doorstep. 

  • Asda

Asda has around 600 stores nationwide and is temporarily stopping its 24-hour opening times between 12am-6am for restocking.

Many of the stores have started closing at 8pm rather than 10pm, be sure to check your local branch on its store locator for updated opening hours. 

To help customers remain safe during the coronavirus pandemic Asda has also dedicated opening hours to NHS staff and vulnerable customers. 

The first opening hour of each store is dedicated to the elderly and vulnerable, the store has asked other customers to refrain from visiting the store before 9am. 

On Monday, Wednesday and Friday between 8am - 9am is the NHS shopping hour. 

  • Sainsbury’s

Sainsbury’s released on March 23 that customers over the age of 70, or with a disability will have priority when booking delivery slots. 

The supermarket have also set aside dedicated shopping hours. They are each Monday, Wednesday and Friday between 8am - 9am is the elderly and disabled customer shopping hour. 

Monday to Saturday between 7.30am and 8am is set aside for NHS and social care workers. 

  • Morrisons

After a week of lockdown many supermarkets are starting to recover from the lack of stock.

Morrisons have stated that they have increased the amount of stock being moved from their warehouses to their stores. 

They have also extended their delivery slots, however customers should note that delivery drivers are not permitted to hand over shopping bags or enter a customer's home. 

Morrisons has set aside NHS and social workers shopping times between 7am and 8am Monday to Saturday.

They have not yet announced an elderly or vulnerable persons shopping hour. 

  • Iceland

Iceland stores have dedicated the first two hours of opening every Wednesday to the elderly and vulnerable. 

  • Co-op

All Co-op stores are now open between the hours of 7am  - 8pm. Stores with a petrol station will now close at 11pm. To check your local store use their store locator.

For every week of unplanned school closures Co-op is giving 6,500 students who would usually get a free meal at the Co-op’s 25 Academy schools a £20 voucher to use at any of their stores. 

They have also implemented special shopping hours.

All vulnerable, elderly, carers and NHS workers are welcomed in store between 8am - 9am Monday to Saturday and between 10am and 11am on Sundays. 

Co-op have a limit of two items per customer across all of their products. 

Marks and Spencer (M&S)

Offer contact-free delivery on food, clothing, homeware, hampers, wine and flowers safely to customers doorsteps. 

M&S have transferred 4,600 workers from the home, clothing and cafe teams to support their food teams. 

Their dedicated shopping hours are: The first hour of shopping each Monday and Thursday for the elderly and vulnerable. 

The first hour of opening on every Tuesday and Friday for NHS and emergency service workers. 


Waitrose stores are open as usual but have dedicated a quarter of their online delivery slots to customers that are vulnerable or aged over 70.

These customers also have a dedicated shopping hour during the first hour of trading each day. 

They have also set up a £1million Community Support Fund to be distributed by Waitrose shops to local communities, this includes creating and delivery care packages to local care homes and community groups. 

Additionally, Waitrose are working with Age UK, FareShare and the Trussell Trust and have donated £75,000 initially to each charity to help with their response to coronavirus. 

In their efforts to support NHS workers, the supermarket has set aside a proportion of hard-to-find and essential products exclusively for NHS staff who present a valid NHS card. 

NHS staff also have access to a priority checkout service in store.

  • Aldi 

Aldi have changed their opening hours to 8am - 8pm Monday to Saturday and 10am - 4pm on Sundays for restocking. 

The supermarket is opening stores an hour early on Sundays for emergency workers with a valid ID. 

However they have not implemented elderly or vulnerable shopping hours. 

  • Lidl

Lidl have changed their opening hours at some stores so be sure to check this before travelling. 

They have also implemented a four item cap on items and have started to pre-bag all of their bakery items. 

Other essential retailers include: 

  • Supermarkets and other food shops 
  • Pharmacies
  • Newsagents
  • Petrol stations
  • Bicycle Shops
  • Home and hardware stores
  • Laundrettes and dry cleaners
  • Garages
  • Pet Shops
  • Post Offices
  • Banks