What new coronavirus rules mean for supermarket shoppers
Prime Minister Boris Johnson has announced that from Monday, September 14, there will be a ban on gatherings of more than six people in England – indoors and outside.
Those who don’t follow the new rules risk being being £100, which doubles on each offence up to £3,200.
Throughout the coronavirus national lockdown Brits were still able to go to supermarkets to do their weekly shop.
But rules for shoppers are constantly changing – and sometimes it’s hard to keep up.
The only massive rule change for supermarket shoppers is that you won’t be able to shop in groups of more than six.
If your household or social bubble is larger than six, you can still go shopping together.
Some of the major supermarkets have implemented their own rules regarding shopping.
Here are the rules for the individual supermarkets, including Asda, Tesco, Morrisons, Sainsbury’s and Iceland, as reported by Manchester Evening News.
Asda encourages customers to stay two metres apart while shopping, as well as wearing face coverings.
A spokesperson from the supermarket chain said: “Throughout the pandemic our customers have embraced many new rules to keep everyone safe in our stores, and we are confident they will continue to show care and consideration for each other by wearing a face covering when they visit our stores.
“We also have signs at the entrance to the store and on the shelf edges to encourage customers to wear a face covering and are using Asda FM (our in-store radio) to further remind customers.
“While we will do all we can to strongly encourage customers to respect the new guidelines, the responsibility for policing and enforcing them does lie with the relevant authorities.”
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Customers are encouraged to wear face coverings while shopping in Tesco.
However, like other supermarket chains, staff won’t be policing the rules – as they might have a reason for not wearing a mask.
If you’ve simply forgotten to bring one, you will be able to purchase one at the entrance of each store.
Tesco also has directional floor markings in some store, creating a safe flow of movement.
Expect hand sanitisers around store, and cleaning products to wipe down your trolley and basket.
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Aldi encourages people to wear a face mask in-store, but will not “enforce” the rule.
A spokesperson from the supermarket said: “Customers are encouraged to comply with the government guidelines on face coverings, but like other retailers, our colleagues are not able to enforce these rules.”
Aldi’s busiest times are between 11am and 3pm, so consider visiting outside these hours. The quietest time is between 7pm and 10pm.
During the busiest times Aldi staff may limit the number of customers in-store.
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Sainsbury’s will not “challenge” people who aren’t wearing a mask, because they might have a specific reason for doing so.
In a Tweet, the supermarket chain said: “We won’t be challenging customers without a mask when they enter or when they are in store since they may have a reason not to wear a mask.”
Sainsbury’s recommends to avoid busy shopping times, to shop one adult at a time, keep two trolleys apart where possible and paying with card.
Morrisons encourages customers to wear face coverings while shopping in their stores.
They will also be handing out free ones to shoppers who may have forgotten to bring one.
There are signs around the store reminding people of the buildings.
Morrisons also offers lanyards tho those who may not be able to wear one due to a hidden or physical disability.
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Iceland has said it will not instruct its employees to “police” face covering rules.
However, customers are advised to wear one if they are able to.
A spokesman for the supermarket chain said: “We welcome the additional measures brought in by the government and will be supporting mandatory face coverings in our stores in England, whilst observing exemptions outlined int he latest guidance.
“However, we will not put our staff at risk by asking them to police this.”
All shoppers must wear a face mask inside shops in England by law – unless they are exempt.
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