TESCO has stayed opened throughout the third lockdown because it is classed as an essential retailer.
But there are rules that shoppers must stick to while visiting stores, and the way you shop online has changed – below we explain all you need to know.
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As part of Boris Johnson's four-step roadmap, the high street also welcomed back customers on April 12.
The roadmap out of lockdown and return to normal is continuing to be reviewed in stages, with the next step due to come into force this month on May 17.
But this is dependent on coronavirus cases remaining under control and the vaccine rollout staying on target.
While Tesco remains open for business during the pandemic, we explain all you need to know about rules in stores and online shopping changes.
When are Tesco branches opening and closing?
Tesco has more than 3,400 stores across the UK and you can find your nearest – including store opening times – using the supermarket's store locator tool.
Many stores have extended opening hours to help more people shop in-store during quieter times.
Some also remain open for 24 hours a day.
For stores that aren't open 24 hours, opening times are typically 6am or 7am until 10pm or 11pm.
But as this does vary depending on your location, it's best to check with your local store for exact opening times.
How to cut the cost of your grocery shop
MONEY.CO.UK has shared some top tips with us to help you keep your supermarket spend down to a minimum.
- 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
Does Tesco operate any special opening hours?
In a select number of stores there are special opening hours for vulnerable and elderly shoppers, as well as NHS workers.
Whether your store has dedicated hours in place for vulnerable and elderly shoppers depends on which shop you visit.
For example, some stores open an hour early on Sundays, at 9am, for vulnerable customers – but they'll have to wait until 10am to pay for their shopping.
These special hours don't apply to all shops, so again, check in with your local first.
NHS, emergency service and care workers have priority access to stores at any time.
If there's a queue, just make your way to the store entrance and share a valid ID to enter.
When is the best time to shop there?
Google has a tracker that allows you to see when the peak times are.
If you search for “Tesco” and then click on your nearest store, it will show a bar chart of when the store’s busiest times are.
What can I buy when I’m there?
The government and supermarkets have urged shoppers not to panic buy or stockpile.
On its website, Tesco says it currently has buying limits on some specific products, so you can't bulk buy toilet roll, flour, pasta, or hand sanitisers.
There is also a limit of 115 items per online order.
Can I order online?
You can still order online, but Tesco has encouraged customers to shop in store instead due to a high demand in online delivery slots.
Shoppers flocked online at the beginning of the third lockdown, which resulted in customers claiming delivery slots were "running out".
Due to this spike, Tesco more than doubled the number of online slots to 1.5million each week.
The supermarket has also employed tens of thousands of temporary staff to cope with the demand.
You'll only be able to book one slot a week, and there is a limit of 115 items per online order.
What about priority online slots?
Hundreds of thousands of these slots will be reserved for Tesco's most vulnerable customers.
Tesco will have emailed you if you're eligible to book one.
Customers reserving these slots will be able to reserve a delivery window between 10am to 6pm, or 2pm to 10pm.
Tesco will text you on the day of your delivery to let you know when your one hour slot is within this window – so make sure your mobile number is up to date in your account.
If you're not able to go to the shops for another reason (for example if you are self-isolating), then you can call Tesco's customer engagement centre to try and get a priority slot.
Can I still use click and collect?
Yes – you can still use click and collect services.
In fact, Tesco is encouraging shoppers to use this service or shop in store instead of ordering online to free up slots for those who really need them.
Non-essential shops can welcome back customers, but shoppers have been warned to return items to stores ASAP ahead of extended returns policies ending.
And here are ten top tips to help with your Tesco shop.
Want the lowdown of what the rules are for supermarkets including Tesco, Asda and Lidl? Check out our round-up.
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