Latest rules revealed for Tesco, Sainsbury’s and Morrison's as supermarkets warn against panic buying

6 October 2020, 07:28 | Updated: 6 October 2020, 07:34

Supermarkets have introduced new rules
Supermarkets have introduced new rules. Picture: PA Images

Supermarkets have got strict new rules in place following a spike in coronavirus cases.

Following a spike in coronavirus cases, the UK is getting used to tougher lockdown restrictions.

And many supermarkets have changed their guidelines to ensure their customers stay safe under the government’s strict social distancing rules.

Limits on some food items have also been reintroduced to stop people from bulk buying their stock, while Tesco has a new ‘traffic light system’ in place.

So, what are the rules for the supermarkets? Here’s what we know…


Tesco has announced a new ‘traffic light system’ in larger UK stores to let shoppers know when they can enter safely.

Customers queuing outside Tesco
Customers queuing outside Tesco. Picture: PA Images

Staff members will also be placed at the entrances to help set out the safety measures and answer any questions.

The superstore has also extended opening hours in many of its shops to help safely manage the flow in and out, but most remain closed overnight.

In an email to shoppers, Tesco UK & Ireland CEO Jason Tarry also urged people not to panic buy, writing: "We have good stock levels, so please shop as you normally would so that everyone is able to get what they need.

"We may apply buying limits to some essential products to help with that too."

There is currently a three-item limit on:


Dried pasta

Toilet roll

Baby wipes

Anti-bacterial wipes

Opening hours

It is also mandatory to wear a face covering at indoor public places, unless you have a reasonable excuse not to wear one.

If anyone forgets, stores are selling them at entrances so people can just pick one up and pay with their shopping later on.

Hand sanitiser and cleaning stations are available around the stores while social distancing guidelines remain.

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Sainsbury’s also have members of staff at doors to remind customers of the rules to wear face coverings when they enter.

Those who forget a face covering can buy one from the store, while hand sanitiser stations are placed around the stores and at the entrance.

Store opening hours have also been extended, while there is priority access for vulnerable customers.

Aldi has a traffic light system in stores
Aldi has a traffic light system in stores. Picture: PA Images


A similar traffic light system to Tesco is displayed at store entrances to keep the numbers at a safe level inside stores.

There are also hand sanitising stations inside and markers remain on the floor to encourage social distancing.


Shoppers who forget their face coverings can buy them in store and more hand sanitiser is placed around the stores.

Safety marshals are now stationed outside every store to ensure shoppers follow new government guidelines.

Asda has also launched ‘Scan and Go’ mobile to all supermarkets, superstores and supercentres to limit the need to queue to pay for shopping.

A statement on its website reads: "Since the COVID-19 outbreak, we have all had to adapt to the many changes made throughout the country needed to stay safe.

"COVID-19 is still impacting every avenue of our lives, therefore our safety initiatives are altered and updated in line with the government guidance to ensure Asda stores are as safe as possible for both our colleagues and our customers."


A traffic light system is also displayed at store entrances, while trolley and basket sanitisation stations are available at the front.

Stock levels are frequently replenished, with a spokesperson reassuring customers that they are not currently experiencing food shortages.

They told KentLive: "We hope all customers remain mindful of others when shopping with us to ensure everyone continues to have access to the products they need.

"Nonetheless, it is at our store managers discretion, should customers start to bulk-buy, to limit the purchasing of specific items at that store.”


Safety marshals have been introduced outside stores to ensure rules are followed.

Face coverings must be worn, while perspex screens, PPE for colleagues and floor markings remain in place.

Morrisons became the first supermarket to introduce rationing again, with a three per person limit on a small number of key products, including toilet roll and disinfectant.

A Morrisons spokesperson said: "We are introducing a limit on a small number of key products, such as toilet roll and disinfectant.

"Our stock levels of these products are good but we want to ensure that they are available for everyone."

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