// Sainsbury’s bans couples from its stores as part of efforts to enforce social distancing amid coronavirus
// The grocer has implemented a one-adult-per-household rule across its stores
// The social distancing measures are part of wider efforts to stem the spread of Covid-19
Sainsbury’s has banned couples and introduced a one-adult-per-household rule across its stores as part of updated social distancing measures amid the coronavirus pandemic.
The retailer said the rule, introduced yesterday, is aimed at keeping customers and shop floor staff better protected from Covid-19 and to help stem the spread of the highly contagious virus.
Children are allowed to accompany adults if they are unable to stay at home.
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“We are asking everyone to please only send one adult per household to our shops,” Sainsbury’s chief executive Mike Coupe said in a letter to customers.
“This helps us keep people a safe distance apart and also helps reduce queues to get into stores.
“Our store teams will be asking groups with more than one adult to choose one adult to shop and will ask other adults to wait.
“Children of course are welcome if they are not able to stay at home.”
The news comes as Sainsbury’s joined other retailers in loosening its rationing system on most items from Sunday.
Limits on the number of items customers could buy would start to be removed, but limits would remain on popular items including UHT milk, pasta and tinned tomatoes.
The likes of Aldi, Lidl, Morrisons and Waitrose also announced a relaxation of purchasing restrictions as the UK entered its second week of lockdown.
Coupe also said supermarket shelves were now full throughout the day.
He added that Sainsbury’s online grocery service has expanded significantly from offering 370,000 home delivery and click-and-collect slots two weeks ago, to 600,000 by the end of next week – and capacity is set to expand further.
In addition, the Big 4 grocer offered priority online delivery to more than 450,000 elderly or vulnerable customers.