Tesco, Lidl, Asda, Sainsbury’s, Aldi and Morrisons share new shopping rules for lockdown

Tesco, Lidl, Asda, Sainsbury’s, Aldi, M&S and Morrisons have all changed their rules for shoppers since the lockdown was imposed due to the coronavirus. The pandemic is having a huge effect on how the supermarkets deal with demand as well as keeping customers safe.  


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Grocery shopping is one of the essential reasons for the public to leave their homes as the UK lockdown continues. 

However, all of the UK stores have put in place extra measures and additional rules to look after their staff as well as their local customers. 

The strict measures include new opening hours, special slots for the vulnerable, one-way systems, queuing outside the supermarket, protective screens at checkouts and even cleaning products to wipe down trolleys. 

Each food shop has its own rules though so it is a good idea to check before you go – here’s how each of the brands is changing the way the nation stocks up. 


Tesco is increasing the number of online delivery slots to make it easier for those in need to book in for a home delivery if they can’t get to a store. 

They have also updated some of their guidelines for those who visit the store to shop. 

Where necessary the number of customers going into the stores will be limited to make sure they don’t become too busy, making keeping a distance difficult. 

Shoppers may be asked to remain in their cars to queue, especially in bad weather, with staff returning to let them know when it’s their turn to go in. 

The car parks have floor markings to help customers stay apart when queuing. 

Hand sanitisers and cleaning products will be available around the store and at entrances to clean hands, baskets and trolley handles. 

Some stores have introduced floor markings to keep customers flowing in one direction, as well as at checkouts to stop people from standing too close as they wait to pay. 

Tesco is encouraging its customers to shop alone, one person per household, to reduce the risk. Carers and those who need to bring children are still allowed to accompany shoppers. 


Lidl is reminding customers to keep a safe two metre distance at all times when in the store. 

The brand has also put a crowd control system in place in order to make sure this is possible. 

Security guards or other staff may stand at the entrances to ensure there’s a safe number of people in store at any time, especially during the busiest hours of the day. 

The previous limitations on how much customers could buy has also been updated as the UK stays in lockdown. 

“We’ve now lifted our volume restrictions on all items and are reverting to our previous policy of allowing all customers to purchase ‘usual household’ quantities again. This is, as ever, at the store manager’s discretion and we still ask for your continued consideration for our colleagues and other customers when you come into store,” the website states. 

They’re also using a traffic light system to indicate the busiest times to shop. The morning rush between 8am-11am is the busiest, while after 2pm seems to be the quieter period of the day. 

Bakery items are now all pre-bagged by the team so that customers don’t have to use the shared tongs. 

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Asda stores are now only open Monday – Saturday 8am – 10pm to give them time to restock. 

On Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays between 8am and 9am, NHS staff, Care Home Workers & Carers have priority so that they can shop safely. 

The brand is also encouraging people to only pick up what they intend to buy. 

Some shopping limits will be in place on popular items to ensure stock remains available as much as possible. 

Asda is temporarily closing non-essential services, such as rotisserie and pizza counters.

The supermarket is also asking customers to try to limit their shopping trips to one person per household, and one adult per trolley in store. 

The number of customers allowed in at any time may be restricted in order to keep shoppers safe. 


Sainsbury’s has queuing systems in place outside of its stores to limit the number of people in the store as well as keeping customers at a safe distance from each other. 

They are also asking shoppers to try and visit throughout the day rather than in the busy morning sessions. 

Markers are on the floor throughout the stores to help costumes observe social distancing rules. 

All Sainsbury’s supermarkets will be open from 08.00 to 20.00 Monday – Saturday.


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Aldi has also revealed a traffic light-style system on its website to show customers the busiest time slots and when best to visit. 

Late morning is proving to be the most popular time, with shops getting quieter in the afternoons and then much calmer in the evenings. 

All day everyday, key workers in the NHS, Police and Fire Service will take priority ahead of queues into stores upon showing a valid ID. This includes all Social Care Workers, First Responders and St John’s Ambulance staff.

There are trolley and basket cleaning stations available in all stores. 

Entry may be limited at busier times so be prepared to queue, especially in the mornings. 

They are also asking customers to avoid stockpiling and just buy what they need. 


Morrisons has put in place a strict one person per trolley rule, so that only one person per household is shopping at any time. 

Shops will be open exclusively for NHS staff for one hour between 6am – 7am daily, and Sunday from 9am. 

Markers have been added on the floor around its stores to keep customers apart while they pick up the things they need. 

There may also be staff limiting the number of people entering the store at a time to allow people to distance safely. 


M&S has put some changes in place to help its shoppers. 

NHS, emergency service and health and social care workers only can shop every Tuesday and Friday during the first hour after opening. 

Staff are monitoring how many people are in the store at one time and limits may be put in place to prevent crowding. 

Floor markings have been added to ensure a two-metre space between shoppers. 

Staff are thoroughly cleaning baskets and trolleys as well as the self checkouts all day. 

Temporary purchasing restrictions are in place for some products. 

In-store cafes have closed, as have all clothing- and homeware-only stores.

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