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Asda, Aldi, Tesco and others give important lockdown update to customers about in-store rules

All the new rules you need to know during lockdown

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As England is plunged into a third lockdown, there are a number of rules shoppers must be aware of in supermarkets.

Supermarkets will remain open throughout the lockdown as before as they fall into the essential shop category.

However, there are a number of safety measures that have been put in place across the biggest players in the market that shoppers need to be aware of.

Many supermarkets are encouraging shoppers to go solo to reduce the number of people inside, and you might find some strict shopping rules such as limits on items you can buy in some stores.

Here’s what to expect in each store…

Alex McGregor / Geograph

Asda

You can now expect marshals in busy parts of larger stores to help ease the flow of people and ensure social distancing remains as we all gather around the milk.

Asda will be using an automatic counting technology system that will manage the number of people in the store. Some stores will also see trials of a new queueing app that will ask you to wait in your car until your allotted time to shop. 

You will find a layer of antimicrobial material on trollies and baskets to help stop the spread of bacteria, as well as an increase in sanitation stations. 

David Clark / Geograph

Aldi

You will still find Specialbuys in Aldi as per the government guidelines, and as of yet Aldi has confirmed they will not be putting ‘unnecessary’ limits on the number of products you can buy.

Shop alone if you can and avoid the busiest time which Aldi explains is 12-3pm. On Mondays and Saturdays stores will open 30 minutes earlier to provide priority opening times for the elderly and vulnerable. NHS workers can do this on Sundays. 

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Lidl

Some managers can bring in limits to specific stores if panic buying starts again so be aware of this. Rather unhelpfully, Lidl confirms their busiest times are between 8am and 11pm and advise people to avoid these (somehow). 

Tesco

Mixed retail sections are not required to be sectioned off in this lockdown but where there is a clear and more substantial standalone section within a supermarket, selling for instance clothes, this should close. 

Fully sanitised umbrellas are being provided to shoppers when they have to queue outside in the rain, as well as face coverings available where you enter the store in case you forget yours.

There is priority access to NHS staff, emergency services and care workers as well as dedicated shopping hours for vulnerable customers.

Restrictions are in place on some items such as one-item limits on toilet roll and three-item limits on flour, dried pasta, eggs, rice, baby wipes, soap and anti-bacterial wipes. 

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Morrisons

NHS staff get priority access between 6am and 7am from Monday to Saturday and an hour before opening (usually around 9am) on a Sunday.

Shoppers can expect perspex screens at tills and marshals on the doors.

Sainsbury’s

Priority access is between 7:30am and 8am Monday to Saturday for NHS and care workers. Elderly, vulnerable or less-abled shoppers have a priority entry between 8am and 9am on Monday, Wednesday and Friday.

Sainsbury’s are asking shoppers to shop alone where possible and to avoid busy times. 

Marks and Spencer

You can expect staff on the doors managing the number of people in-store as well as clothes and homeware blocked off. 

You can use the mobile pay and go app which requires you to scan your shopping (as long as it is below £30 and you have a Sparks card) instead of using a checkout. You can also ‘book and shop’ to pre-book a 30-minute slot so you can avoid queues.  

 

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Police seize over £3m worth of counterfeit goods in Cheetham Hill raids

GMP are stamping down on ‘the illegal distribution of counterfeit items’, and ‘the supply of illicit prescription drugs’

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GMP

Police have seized over £3m worth of counterfeit goods in a series of Cheetham Hill raids conducted as part of their ‘crackdown’ on counterfeit fraud.

According to a statement issued by Greater Manchester Police last night, Officers from City of London, North West Regional and Organised Crime Unit (NWROCU), Border Force, Immigration and local officers yesterday executed their tenth raid on Lockett Street and Bury New Road.

There, £1million’s worth of goods including clothing, accessories, bags, perfume and jewellery were found and seized. This added to the other £2m worth of goods found across the last week. 

Six men, all aged between thirty-six and sixty-one, have all been arrested and released under investigation pending further enquiries, according to the force.

The raids come as part of GMP’s Operation’s ‘Magpie’ and ‘Cranium’, which aims to tackle ‘the illegal distribution of counterfeit items’, and tackle ‘the supply of illicit prescription drugs’.

Inspector William Jennings-Wharton from the Cheetham Neighbourhood team said in a statement: “This is all part of our continued work to tackle organised crime taking place in Cheetham Hill and I want to reassure the local community that we are listening to their concerns and this week’s action is all part of our continued crackdown.

“Counterfeit goods and drug dealing will not be tolerated and all of these raids are a huge step in really driving a wedge in organised crime in the area.

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“Counterfeit goods are not a victimless crime – though these desired items may look good and are cheap, they are funding a wider picture that involves money laundering, organised crime and cheap labour.

“The profits from such businesses can be used to fund other serious crime, and often with that comes violence which can have a devastating ripple effect on communities and nearby legitimate businesses.”

A spokesperson for Manchester City Council added: “Counterfeit crime runs far deeper than just the sale of knock-off coats and handbags [as] there are deep links to other criminal enterprises and the sale of fake goods only puts money in the hands of criminals. 

“We remain committed to tackling this practice at the source and will continue to work with our partners in the police to secure prosecution against perpetrators… And get fake goods off our streets.”

Anyone with information has been encouraged to report it online or by using the LiveChat facility at www.gmp.police.uk or by calling 101. Alternatively, contact Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.

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This is why some supermarkets are refusing to enforce the new face mask rules

Supermarket bosses have spoken out

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A number of supermarkets have addressed the reason they won’t be enforcing the new face mask rules that are now mandatory across the country.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced the return of face masks and self-isolation over the weekend in a bid to tackle the new Omicron variant, which is believed to be ‘more transmissible and have more mutations which could weaken the effect of vaccines and natural immunity.’ 

However, despite the mandate being backed by the government, a number of supermarket bosses announced that they would not be enforcing masks upon their customers.

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Iceland was the first supermarket to announce its stance on the matter, with the chain’s managing director Richard Walker saying he wouldn’t be asking staff to enforce the new restrictions as they focus on the ‘long-term recovery of the high street.’

Walker told The Daily Mail: “We fully support the reintroduction of compulsory face masks in shops, however, we won’t be asking our store colleagues to police it.

“Our store teams, alongside all retail workers, have shown heroic efforts in terms of ensuring safety for customers and building back consumer confidence and it’s crucial that we stay focused on the long-term recovery of the high street.”

Supermarket giant Co-op has also said that they would not be enforcing face coverings in their stores – nor would they refuse to serve a customer without one.

The British Retail Consortium has said it’s down to the police to enforce the measure, saying, as per The Sun: “Customers are asked to respect the rules and be considerate to their fellow shoppers and to hard-working shop staff.”

Since then, Tesco, Aldi and Lidl have all echoed this stance, with each saying they have no plans to challenge customers over the wearing of a face covering in store.

Nickolay Romensky / Flickr

Alternatively, Asda and Morrisons have announced that they will be regularly enforcing the use of face masks while also handing out free masks to those who don’t have them, while Sainsbury’s said it will have ‘greeters and security guards at the front of our supermarkets’ to remind people to wear masks. 

A statement from the Government on the rule change read: “From 4am Tuesday November 30th, face coverings will be compulsory in shops and other settings such as banks, post offices and hairdressers, as well as on public transport unless individuals are exempt from doing so.”

All hospitality is exempt from the rule change. 

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Boris Johnson reveals plan to offer all adults booster jabs by the end of January

NEWS JUST IN

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The government plans on offering all adults booster vaccines by the end of January, Boris Johnson has revealed today.

The Prime Minister spoke at a Downing Street conference this afternoon where he announced the planned booster rollout will take place across 1,500 pharmacy sites across England in age order. 

Over 400 military personnel will help with the rollout, Johnson added.

Noting that it’s ‘time for another Great British vaccination effort’, Johnson said: “The target we’ve set ourselves is to offer a booster to everyone eligible by the end of January.

“As with the first jabs, we’ll be working through people by age group going down in five year bands, because it’s vital that the older and more clinically vulnerable get that added protection first.”

The Prime Minister stressed that even those who had their second jab over three months ago should wait until the NHS contacts them about a booster appointment.

This announcement comes as face masks are made compulsory once again in all shops and on public transport.

The government made the decision as part of its response to the new Omicron variant, which is said to be ‘more transmissible and have more mutations which could weaken the effect of vaccines and natural immunity.’ 

The change in rules was announced by the Prime Minister after cases of the new variant were detected at several locations across the UK. 

The Health Secretary Sajid Javid confirmed yesterday that all adults will be offered a COVID-19 booster vaccine as part of a reaching expansion of the jabs programme to deal with the potential impact of the new variant.

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