When your local supermarket is open for elderly, vulnerable, NHS and care staff

Find out what your local supermarket is doing to help the elderly, vulnerable and health workers during the coronavirus pandemic.

Shoppers at Sainsbury's
Shoppers at Sainsbury's

Special opening hours for the elderly and vulnerable, as well as NHS staff and social care workers, have been put in place by major supermarket chains such as ASDA, Tesco, Sainsbury's, Iceland and more.

Other measures - such as new cleaning stations, reduced opening hours, limits on items and social distancing practices- have also been introduced.

To find out information on opening hours and Covid-19 measures in place in supermarkets, see our round-up below:



Asda has put a number of measures in place during the coronavirus outbreak including dedicated shopping hours.

Stores which are usually open until 10pm or are 24/7 are now only open from 8am until 8pm so shelves can be restocked.

The supermarket chain is is urging other people to stay away until 9am so the elderly and others who fall into the 'vulnerable' category and their carers can shop.

Asda has also confirmed that it will be prioritising NHS workers in larger stores every Monday, Wednesday and Friday from 8am to 9am.

Customers will only be able to buy up to three of any product across all food items, toiletries and cleaning products and the rotisserie and pizza counters are closed.

The store is also urging customers to use cashless payment options to reduce contact with our colleagues and help prevent further spread of the virus.

Additional cleaning materials have been added and high traffic areas of stores are being cleaned more regularly.

Cleaning stations at the front of stores are also being topped up frequently, making it easier to sanitise trolleys and baskets before and after use.

To find information on your local store, click here.


Dedicated shopping hours for the elderly and vulnerable and NHS staff have been introduced at Sainsbury's stores, which are now only open from 8am until 8pm Monday to Saturday.

From 8am to 9am every Monday, Wednesday and Friday Sainsbury's is only open for elderly and vulnerable shoppers.

The company also says it is giving priority access to online delivery slots for the over-70s, although it has paused registrations for new online shoppers due to high demand.

From 7.30am to 8am from Monday to Saturday Sainsbury's is for NHS staff and social care workers only.

Staff need to bring a valid form of ID, such as an NHS staff card.

Store colleagues are being asked to try their best to keep a supply of essential items aside for the 30 minutes of shopping prioritised for NHS staff and social care workers and for the hour reserved for elderly customers.

Customers will be able to buy a maximum of three of any grocery products and a maximum of two of the most popular products including toilet paper, soap and UHT milk.

Opening hours in supermarkets on Sunday, in petrol stations and in Sainsbury’s Locals have not changed.

The supermarket is asking customers in-store to stand one metre away from colleagues wherever possible and pay with card rather than cash at tills.

Sainsbury's is also increasing Click+Collect locations for shoppers online, while all cafes are closed as are meat, fish and pizza counters.

To find your local store, click here.


Tesco has also announced a dedicated shopping hour for NHS staff and the vulnerable.

The priority shopping hour for vulnerable and elderly customers is every Monday, Wednesday and Friday between 9am and 10am.

This is in all Extras, Superstores and Metros but is not available in Express stores.

Colleagues will be on hand to provide support to any customers who need it.

To help free up slots for the more vulnerable, such as elderly customers and those who are self-isolating, the supermarket is encouraging customers who shop online to choose Click+Collect for their grocery home shopping.

NHS staff will be able to visit stores from 5am on Sundays to receive priority shopping time.

Eligible staff must bring a valid form of ID with them to store, such as an NHS staff card.

Tesco stores are also now opening at 6am and closing at 10pm to ensure staff have time to replenish stock and clean.

On top of this, a store-wide restriction of only three items per customer on every product line has been introduced, removing multi-buy promotions.

All meat, fish, deli counters and salad bars have been closed to allow staff to focus on stocking shelves and to avoid waste.

Distancing measures have been introduced at checkout areas and shoppers are encourage to pay by card.

Tesco has also announced it is hiring 20,000 new staff.

To find your local store, click here.

The Tesco Extra supermarket, in Shrewsbury. Image: Google


Morrisons has set out a number of measures to support colleagues and customers during the coronavirus outbreak.

The supermarket has introduced new ways of delivering groceries and more slots for customers, in a bid to help vulnerable people and those affected by the virus.

New measures include launching a new range of simple-to-order food parcels, creating more delivery slots online and on Amazon Prime Now, and launching a customer call centre for orders.

From 7am to 8am people working in the NHS will be able to enjoy priority shopping hours with the production of a valid ID.

Stores are open from 8am to 8pm for everyone else. Sundays remain the same at 10am to 4pm.

Every online product will be restricted to three per customer.

Customers will be restricted on purchases of cleaning products, with bleach capped at six bottles per person and two for hand sanitisers.

To find your local store, click here.


Lidl has implemented reduced shopping hours in light of the coronavirus outbreak but there has been no information released regarding elderly and vulnerable shopping hours or NHS staff.

Stores are now open from 8am until 8pm until further notice.

Limits of four items per customer on a range of products including tinned foods, pasta and toilet paper are in place.

To find your local store, click here.

Lidl in Bilston


Aldi has set out a series of new measures to support colleagues and customers, including opening from 8am until 8pm only.

Sunday opening hours remain the same at 10am to 4pm.

Clear screens will be installed at all Aldi checkouts in the UK to protect colleagues and customers.

The store is also advising its colleagues and customers to observe government advice on social distancing in stores.

All nappies and paper products, such as toilet and kitchen roll, are restricted to two items per customer.

All other products remain restricted to four items per customer, with the exception of non-food Specialbuys, Easter products and fresh flowers which have no restrictions.

To find your local store, click here.


Waitrose and Partners has introduced new measures to help its shops meet the needs of customers with a particular focus on the elderly and the vulnerable.

The first opening hour of all stores - 8am until 9am - is dedicated to elderly and vulnerable shoppers.

Waitrose shops will set aside a proportion of "hard-to-find and essential product" from every delivery that arrives into its supermarkets exclusively for NHS staff, on production of an NHS card.

Also from today, NHS staff will be given priority checkout service in the retailer's shops to ensure they are able to get through as quickly and easily as possible - through either dedicated NHS checkouts, opening up new tills for them as needed or moving to the front of the queue.

The supermarket has also taken the decision to close all cafes and rotisseries and to temporarily suspend making coffees.

In addition to existing limits on some online items, there will be a limit of three for any specific grocery item, and a maximum of two packets of toilet roll per customer buying in shops.

To find your local store, click here.


Co-op supermarkets have introduced vulnerable shopping hours and purchasing restrictions.

From 8am to 9am Monday to Saturday and 10am to 11am on Sundays, elderly and vulnerable shoppers will be able to enjoy priority shopping hours.

Most stores open from 6am or 7am until 8pm. Contact your local store for opening times.

Restrictions have also been put on certain items to aid stock control.

Customers are restricted from purchasing more than two products on some lines, including hand sanitiser, soap, tinned goods, pasta, rice, long-life milk, sugar, baby food and nappies.

To find your local store, click here.

Asda spaced trolleys two metres apart in Great Bridge to enforce social distancing. Photo: John Kennett


Iceland has pledged further support for the most vulnerable during the Covid-19 crisis.

The supermarket is offering priority to elderly and vulnerable customers in all 121 of their The Food Warehouse stores across the UK from 8am to 9am Monday to Saturday, and have encouraged the managers of all 855 Iceland stores to offer the same priority in the first hour of trading each day.

Iceland is also offering exclusive access to NHS workers in The Food Warehouse from 7am to 8am each day, and in Iceland stores for the last hour of trading each day.

NHS photo ID must be shown to gain access to the store and only card payments - ideally contactless - will be accepted.

The supermarket advises customers to contact their local brand for information on individual opening times as well as dedicated shopping times.

The supermarket has introduced a temporary cap on sales of several products online including some anti-bacterial soaps and wipes.

Online orders have been limited to customers who are over state pension age, self-isolating and other vulnerable people, such as the disabled.

To find your local store, click here.

Marks & Spencer

M&S is taking further steps to support its customers, colleagues and local communities.

The first hour of trading at all stores will be dedicated to elderly and vulnerable shoppers on Mondays and Thursdays.

A special NHS shopping hour has also been introduced during the first hour of trading on Tuesdays and Fridays. Staff must bring a valid form of ID, such as an NHS staff card.

Store opening times vary from 7am to 8am, and some stores will be closing earlier. Shoppers are advised to contact their local store for more information on shopping times.

A three-item limit on certain products and a limit of two packets of toilet roll are in place.

The contact-free delivery service means customers will have the option of no hand-to-hand contact and deliveries will be left safely at customers’ doors.

To find your local store, click here.

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