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…
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.
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.
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).
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.
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.
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.
Aldi launches new ‘bargain hour’ where prices are slashed by 75%
All 912 Aldi stores across the UK will take part in the scheme
Aldi has announced it’s introducing a special ‘bargain hour’, where shoppers will be able to save 75% on certain goods.
Aldi customers will be able to grab a proper bargain on things like bread, meat and fruit, the supermarket confirmed.
All 912 Aldi stores across the UK will take part in the scheme, marking down perishable products such as fruit, vegetables and meat on their last day of life, just before stores close.
The retailer is doing this to stop fresh produce from going to waste, and it’s part of their wider pledge to halve food waste by 2030.
While at the moment Aldi does reduce the price on certain products when they reach their best-before or use-by dates, it will now be offering bigger savings on products marked with a red sticker.
Julie Ashfield, Managing Director of Buying at Aldi, said: “Aldi is already known for its low prices, but these discounts will help some shoppers to cut their grocery bills even further – all while helping us reduce food waste.
“Customers should look out for the red stickers when shopping at Aldi, but shoppers need to be quick as I’m sure the products will prove popular.”
It’s worth remembering that items will be reduced at different times at different stores, and of course reduced produce is sold on a first-come, first-served basis.
Meanwhile, Aldi has teamed up with Marcus Rashford to launch a brand new campaign to help feed hungry kids across the UK.
Marcus has been busy over the past year, highlighting the shocking food inequalities in our country and holding the government to account, and he’s been doing a fantastic job.
And while one in five children in the UK currently live in food poverty, the Man United star – who experienced food poverty when he was a kid – won’t stop on his mission to help end this tragedy.
To help tackle the issue of child food poverty, Aldi has confirmed that it will donate 10 million meals to feed families in need across the UK during 2021.
The supermarket has also released a short animation that personifies ‘hunger’ through a child’s eyes, to mark the collaboration with Marcus, with the footballer narrating the emotional poem that accompanies the short film.
The video explores a young kid’s relationship with hunger, using a poem by Giles Andreae, with illustrator Lisa Stickley bringing the story to life via the animation.
MP calls for teachers to be given the vaccine next so schools can reopen
He’s called on Matt Hancock to give teachers increased priority
An MP has called for teachers to be given the Covid-19 vaccine so kids can get back to school.
Richard Graham MP is asking Matt Hancock to vaccinate teachers, following the news that Education Secretary Gavin Williamson can’t guarantee schools will reopen after the February half term as was originally planned.
Mr Graham said vaccination was the only way forward, confirming that he has asked the government to make sure teachers are included in the next round of vaccinations, once the 13 million most vulnerable have had their jabs.
He told GloucestershireLive: “If we want to give teachers, parents, pupils, families real certainty on schools, I think there’s only one way to do it, to vaccinate all the teachers.
“That way schools will know their staff will not have to go off and self-isolate, and are not going to catch the virus.
“Parents will also know their pupils are not going to be either infected by teachers or infect them.
“That would be a huge step forward. It doesn’t rule out all the risks. Pupils can still spread it amongst themselves and then back to their parents at home.”
A teacher from Derbyshire has created a petition asking for teachers, school and childcare staff to be prioritised for the coronavirus vaccine.
Charlotte Appleyard’s petition has already gained more than 470,000 signatures, which meant it was discussed in parliament on Monday.
Sir Alex Ferguson’s emotional message to Marcus Rashford as he’s honoured for his charity work
The footballer was honoured at the Football Writers’ Association annual tribute awards
Marcus Rashford has been in the news a lot over the past year for his valiant efforts in fighting child food poverty in the UK.
The Manchester United star has now been honoured again for his efforts, becoming the youngest person ever to receive an award at the Football Writers’ Association annual tribute awards.
Sir Alex Ferguson sent the 23-year-old an emotional message after he was honoured in recognition of his hard work tackling child poverty during the Covid-19 crisis, praising the ‘wonderful person’ he had become.
Marcus has been busy highlighting the shocking food inequalities in our country and holding the government to account, and he’s been doing a fantastic job.
And while one in five children in the UK currently live in food poverty, the striker – who experienced food poverty when he was a kid – won’t stop on his mission to help end this tragedy.
The footballer campaigned for free school meals to be extended during holidays, and more recently has raised awareness of the ‘woefully inadequate’ meal parcels some families have been receiving this week.
Marcus has been working with charity FareShare to help deliver food to hungry kids who are no longer getting free school meals, and yesterday it was reported that he’d teamed up with Aldi to donate 10 million meals to families in need.
Sir Alex said: “I would like to congratulate Marcus on his achievement and presentation (of the FWA Tribute Award) tonight.
“I have known him since being a kid of 7 years of age, and seen him develop through the ranks of Manchester United into a truly wonderful person.
“Apart from his football life, what he has achieved in the last few months is quite astonishing, how he has helped the people in need is a truly amazing achievement.
“I would like to congratulate him on that. He has shown to young people in particular there is a different way of dealing with life.
“He has shown great humility, he has shown courage to do what he did, so this achievement is well deserved and should be recognised with what he has done.
“So Marcus, well done on a fantastic achievement.”
Marcus responded by thanking the legendary United manager, saying: “He has always, from the beginning really, backed me with what I am doing.
“Probably when other people in sports were telling me not to do it and just focus on football, he said if I believed in that, and I believe it is the right thing to do, then he is behind it.
“Those words from him are an amazing feeling to hear that.”