// Grocers have asked capable people to continue shopping in stores to allow delivery slots for elderly & vulnerable
// The message goes against the government’s command that people should shop as infrequently as possible
Major supermarkets have urged “healthy” people to continue travelling into stores to buy essentials in a bid to ease the online shopping process for the elderly and vulnerable amid the Covid-19 pandemic.
After the government announced the UK’s lockdown and closed all non-essential services, consumers have flocked to grocers to purchase necessities.
Bosses from Tesco, Sainsbury’s and Iceland have said those capable should go to supermarkets so that delivery slots are made available for vulnerable households.
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However, this call goes against the government’s command that people should stay home and shop as infrequently as possible.
The bosses of both Tesco and Sainsbury’s have already said they were looking at ways to prioritise vulnerable customers securing delivery slots.
Tesco chief executive Dave Lewis said that Tesco’s online operation is at full capacity for the next few weeks.
He added that Tesco is urging those who are able to safely come to stores to do so, instead of shopping online.
Meanwhile, Iceland Foods’ managing director Richard Walker told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme that Iceland will prioritise online shopping for customers who need it most.
Waitrose also announced on Friday that it will set aside 17 per cent of its delivery slots for the elderly and vulnerable customers.
Many supermarkets have had to introduce extra safety measures for their own staff, such as plastic screens at tills to minimise the risk of Covid-19 transmission.
They are encouraging people to pay by card to reduce the risk of the virus being passed on through cash.
Many grocers, if not all have already set limits on the number of customers allowed into stores at any one time to ensure social distancing measures are met.