Supermarkets nationwide are facing unprecedented demand for groceries as the UK faces an extended lockdown to tackle the spread of coronavirus. Restrictions are in place across stores to limit the number of people and number of items as demand surged at the beginning of lockdown in March.
The demand was so great the British Retail Consortium wrote a letter to the public, signed by all the mainstream supermarkets, urging shoppers to behave themselves.
The letter read: “We want to let you know that we are doing everything we can so that you and your families have the food and essentials you need.
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“But we need your help too. We would ask everyone to be considerate in the way they shop.
“We understand your concerns, but buying more than is needed can sometimes mean that others will be left without.”
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What time is Sainsbury’s open during the coronavirus epidemic?
Alterations to opening hours are in place at Sainsbury’s, with certain hours dedicated to specific members of the public.
Writing to customers, Sainsbury’s CEO Mike Coupe said: “You will have seen that we put restrictions in place this week to ensure that more products are on shelf for longer.
“From Monday 23rd March, we are consolidating our opening hours and all our supermarkets will be open from 8am to 8pm, Monday-Saturday, including those with an Argos store.
“Sunday opening, Sainsbury’s Local and petrol station opening times will stay the same.”
Each Monday, Wednesday and Friday, all of Sainsbury’s supermarkets will dedicate 8am to 9am to serving elderly, disabled and vulnerable customers, as well as NHS and Social Care workers.
For those shopping for those who can’t attend stores themselves, Sainsbury’s have launched a Volunteer Shopping Card to enable people to shop for others easily in store.
Anyone with NHS ID will be able to shop from 7.30am to 8am on these days.
Sainsbury’s have also extended opening hours in many Convenience stores to 10pm or 11pm.
To find the opening hours for your local store, visit Sainsbury’s store finder here.
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What restrictions are in place at Sainsbury’s?
Due to the demand for certain items across all supermarkets, restrictions on the number of items shoppers can buy are in place.
Sainsbury’s has now lifted much of their restrictions across thousands of products to help customers who are shopping for others.
There are still limits on the most popular items for now, including pasta, UHT milk, antibacterial products and some tinned and frozen foods.
Sainsbury’s are also asking everyone to only send one adult per household to our stores.
Online delivery slots are also restricted, with the elderly and vulnerable taking precedence over anyone else.
Click and collect is still available, with Sainsbury’s asking for anyone able to do so to choose this option rather than home delivery.
Posters in stores urged customers to “Please think before you buy” and warning of the limits on certain items.
These include pain relief, sanitising and long-life lines among others.
Sainsbury’s will also be introducing barriers outside to ensure people queue at a safe distance when waiting to get in.
The supermarket said it will also have reminders to keep two metres apart displayed throughout stores, screens at manned checkouts.
Sainsbury’s will also close every other payment point to help keep people apart.
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