People queuing outside a supermarket in Rugby.
People queuing outside a supermarket in Rugby in an effort to follow government guidelines.

Since going into lockdown on Monday 23rd March 2020, many supermarkets have altered the way customers shop due to the global pandemic.

Supermarkets across the nation have put in place multiple precautions that are aimed to help prevent the spread of coronavirus.

The government Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) have outlined how you should shop safely, and should only do so when necessary.

Some supermarkets have limited the amount of people allowed in the store which resulted in queuing outside and into parking lots. People are asked to stand two meters behind one another and many already have their trollies ready to shop.

Sainsbury’s, the second largest supermarket chain in the UK, published a letter for customers where Chief Executive Mike Coupe outlined what they are doing to prevent the spread of Covid-19. He said queueing systems will be put in place as well as reducing checkout staff and having reminders on the announcement system.

One of Britains most popular supermarkets, Tesco, has taken a different approach by putting in floor markings and a one-way route so customers keep to the two meter social distancing rule put in place by UK government.

Other stores like ASDA and Morrisons have reduced opening hours and to help the NHS staff working on the front lines allowing them to shop before 8am with the display of their health service ID.


“i’m more aware of the precautions i need to make due to the situation around me.”

Karen goodwin, Reablement assessor

More recently customers have taken their own precautions by wearing medical gloves to protect against germs and masks. However, some people choose to go without any.

Karen Goodwin, aged 54, has noticed a change when it comes to shopping.


Because her job requires her to work with people at risk of contracting the coronavirus, like the elderly, Ms. Goodwin said, “I am more aware of the precautions I need to make due to the situation. The precautions I take when leaving home involve wearing gloves, aprons, masks, hand washing and hand sanitising.”

If you do not have your own gloves or masks some supermarkets are handing them out if you ask for them at their customer service desk. For more information about what your local supermarket is doing visit their website or social media pages.

How to safely shop during coronavirus:

  1. Stay two meters away from customers and staff (social distance)
  2. Only shop when it essential and necessary
  3. Avoid peak shopping times
  4. Where possible, shop alone
  5. Take wipes to disinfect your trolley
  6. Wash and sanitise your hands before AND after you leave/enter your home