Supermarkets outline new festive shopping rules and delivery slots ahead of Christmas rush

15 December 2020, 10:40

The supermarket rules have changed over Christmas
The supermarket rules have changed over Christmas. Picture: PA Images

ASDA, Sainsbury's and Tesco all have new Christmas shopping updates for their customers.

With just a few days left until Christmas, many of us are starting to stock up for our festive supplies.

But with next week predicted to be the busiest time for supermarkets, now stores have updated their rules in a bid to keep customers safe during the pandemic.

As well as extended opening hours and more delivery slots, ASDA has even introduced virtual queues to stop crowds of people gathering.

Here’s all the updated festive supermarket rules…


As well as Safety Marshalls keeping an eye on customers, and social distancing signs in place, ASDA has now introduced their brand new virtual queueing at over 400 of their biggest stores.

ASDA has a new virtual queueing system
ASDA has a new virtual queueing system. Picture: PA Images

By scanning a QR code from posters at the stores, you can queue on your phone, rather than in person

This means that nobody has to stand outside in the cold while waiting to pick up their turkey.

Read More: Government warns families to meet 'as little as possible' over Christmas as 'rules could be tightened'

When it is almost your turn to enter the store, you will get a text to let you know.

The store will also be delivering Christmas groceries between December 21 and 23 with slots available to book online.

While many of these slots are already full, customers can use click and collect to avoid going inside.


Sainsbury’s has extended its opening hours this Christmas with most stores open from 6am until midnight between December 21 and December 23.

Sainsbury's has advised customers to shop alone
Sainsbury's has advised customers to shop alone. Picture: PA Images

Retail and Digital Director at Sainsbury's, Clodagh Moriarty said: "In a year like no other, we want to do everything we can to help our customers celebrate Christmas, making sure they have everything they need to make the festive season as special as possible.

"We also want to make sure customers and colleagues are kept safe, which is why we're opening our stores for longer and encouraging people to shop early and asking them to shop alone, where possible, this Christmas.

"This will help customers get in and out of shops quickly and safely and make sure everyone has what they need in plenty of time for the big day."

Customers are also encouraged to shop alone regardless of what Tier they are in, while hand sanitising stations are still available across all stores.


Tesco has made more delivery slots available online this Christmas, but they have already been filling up fast.

A statement on their website read: "We're really sorry but we now have very few slots left for 20–24 December. We're experiencing high demand for slots around Christmas.

"We're sorry if you're not able to book your preferred slot. Take a look at the following tips to help you manage your Christmas shopping with Tesco."

Shoppers can also pre-order their Christmas food and pick it up in store with click and collect.

Tesco will keep over 300 of its largest-format branches open for 24 hours from December 14 until Christmas Eve.

Other branches will have opening times extended by one hour during the same period.

You can still click and collect at Tesco
You can still click and collect at Tesco. Picture: PA Images


Morrisons has now released its Christmas Food to Order 2020 option which can be collected or delivered.

They also have a Christmas Dinner for Two Box service available to help ensure that self-isolating customers get everything they need.


In the run up to Christmas, Aldi is also extending its opening hours for any last-minute shoppers.

Stores will also be opening until 6pm on Christmas Eve, while there is also a click and collect service available across many stores.

To find out which stores are taking part in the click and collect service, click here.

Marks & Spencer

Along with many other supermarkets, Marks & Spencer is extending the opening hours before Christmas.

The majority of M&S stores will be open until midnight on 21, 22 and 23 December.

Their ‘Sparks book and shop’ online reservation service will allow customers to book a guaranteed 30 minute slot on the M&S website.

M&S will be closed on Christmas Day and Boxing Day to allow staff to spend more time with their loved ones.


Lidl stores will be running reduced hours on December 24, with stores closing early at 7pm on Christmas Eve.