Coronavirus: What measures have supermarkets put in place?

When the COVID-19 lockdown was announced, people across the UK rushed to the supermarkets to stock their shelves ahead of the impending additional time spent at home. The government have since advised against the British public hoarding food, toilet roll and other essentials. Many supermarkets have released action plans to ensure everyone gets the essentials they need in their homes.

We’ve put together a guide showing you the different things supermarkets are doing to ensure you get everything you need. 


One of the UK’s most popular supermarket chains, Sainsbury’s have put plans in place including limited numbers of people allowed in their stores at one time. This ensures we adhere to the 2M separation guidelines from the government. If you’re wanting online deliveries then you’re looking at a 2-3 week backlog. So it’s likely you’ll have to head to your local store. 

In a letter sent to Sainsbury’s customers by the company’s CEO, it stated that from Monday 23 March 2020, all its supermarkets would be open from 8am to 8pm, Monday to Saturday and usual opening hours on a Sunday.

You need to prepare to queue if you’re able to leave your home. Outside stores there are markers down to ensure everyone stays at least 2 metres away from the person in front and behind them. If you can get a delivery slot then consider whether you truly need it, especially if you have a local store. 

person standing between shelvings


Tesco is one of the many stores that have put markers down outside the store to ensure there’s a 2 metre gap. They’ve also put crosses down instore to ensure the measures are adhered to in the store. 

Tesco recently confirmed that their stores will remain open but with a changed timetable. Their 24-hour stores will now open from 6am to 10pm. You can also get online delivery but their slots are currently all filled. They release new slots every day and they recommend you log in early to try and secure yours. If you need to talk to a member of their team, contact the Tesco customer services team. 


Morrisons have recently confirmed they’ve released an essentials box for £25 that contains everything one person may need for a week. As you can imagine, they’ve been selling out fast so you’ll need to be quick if you want one. 

Their stores are open as normal and times vary depending on the store in question, You can find the Morrisons store opening times here. Alternatively, you can use the Morrisons contact number to speak to one of their team. 

pile of grocery items


ASDA have adopted the queuing system to ensure that social distancing is being followed. They’re also putting measures in place in-store so customers aren’t put at risk.

Store times have changed slightly with their 24 hour stores now shutting between the hours of 12am – 6am. This gives the staff an opportunity to restock the shelves and clean the store before it opens again. The supermarkets are now open from 8am – 8pm Monday to Saturday with usual opening hours Sunday. 

If you have any further questions you can contact the ASDA contact number to speak to one of their team. 

Marks and Spencers

M&S are following similar guidelines to other stores and are using a queued system to make sure there aren’t too many people in the store at one time. So it’s best to head down outside of peak times if you want to avoid queuing. 

Their stores have varied opening times and it varies from store to store. If you want to find out more about their Coronavirus plans or store opening use the M&S contact number to speak directly to them. 

labeled box lot


Co-op are going down the same route as other stores with queues and 2 metre markers in-store to ensure customers are keeping their distance when using the shop. 

On March 24th 2020 they confirmed they would be amending the opening times of their stores. Stores will now close at 8pm to give staff time to restock the shelves and clean the stores down for the next day. You can contact the Co-op customer services number if you need any more help and guidance. 


Iceland’s stores are open and like most, they’re ensuring people adhere to the social distancing that’s been put in place by the government. 

Their store times have changed and this totally depends on the store in question. You can find out all the latest Iceland store times here to see if your local store will be closing earlier than usual. 

yellow and red apples on black plastic crate

Do you need any Coronavirus related advice?

If you need any advice about the social distancing put in place or have any other questions related to COVID-19 you can use the Coronavirus helpline.