Sainsbury’s and Tesco make changes to lockdown restrictions and limits for customers

Coronavirus cases have risen in Europe, where thousands of people have contracted the virus in the last month, resulting in a panicked response from the general public. This has led many to stockpile ‘essential’ items that people might not normally buy in bulk, like toilet paper, hand sanitiser and hand wash. 

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Supermarkets around the UK then began to ration popular items as they battled to keep the shelves stocked.

Sainsbury’s have recently announced that they lifted the three item restriction on thousands of products to help customers shop for their family and friends as well as volunteers shopping for the vulnerable and elderly.

Chief Executive Mike Coupe has said that the shop will stop rationing most products after shoppers fear that the three item limit restricts them shopping for others.

He said: “We know many elderly and vulnerable people who need to self-isolate are relying on the kindness of family, friends and local communities to shop on their behalf and we encourage this.

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“We understand that it can be difficult to buy what you need and shop for someone else with the three item product limit. We have now lifted buying restrictions on thousands of products.”

The supermarket is keeping limits on the most popular items for now and this includes pasta, UHT milk, antibacterial products and some canned and frozen foods. 

Shoppers have been reassured that stock levels have improved across the store and they should be able to find the food they need. 

Sainsbury’s told the Express.co.uk: “We are working hard to keep our shelves well stocked so that customers can arrive at any point during store opening hours and find most of the items they need.”

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Tesco have also loosened the restrictions on their products by lifting the maximum limit on many items. 

The stores are also making other changes in an attempt to keep their customers and staff as safe as possible.

There is still a restriction on items high in demand like toilet roll, cleaning products, pasta and home baking goods.

CEO of the Tesco Group David Lewis, has emailed customers to let them know about the new changes being brought in.

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From now on, Tesco will be operating a one way system in aisles. 

They will also be introducing a ‘one in, one out’ system for those visiting the shop. 

Additionally, almost all major supermarkets have introduced checkout screens, increased cleaning and are actively encouraging customers to use contactless payments if possible.

The price limit for contactless payments at Tesco will be increased from £30 to £45 to try and reduce the amount of contact made on card machines. 

The supermarket giant is also asking customers to visit their stores when they are quietest to do their shopping. 

Shoppers of Tesco could benefit from doing a food shop in the middle of the week, according to visiting data on Google.

This suggests Tesco supermarkets are their busiest on the weekends and in the middle of the day.

However, going too early could leave customers queuing outside with many people arriving before the shop opens in the hope of finding stocked shelves. 

Tesco have also introduced payment on the free Tesco Pay+ app from Tesco Bank, which has bank level security built in and lets you pay for up to £250 of your shopping with a single contactless scan. 

Many supermarkets have introduced specific shopping hours for key workers so it is advised customers check their local stores opening hours before shopping

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