Going to the supermarket is a very different experience during the coronavirus lockdown.
Supermarket giants are limiting the number of people in their stores at any one time, and some are still restricting how much shoppers can buy to avoid shelves being emptied.
As a result, shoppers are finding they often have to queue to get into their local stores, as well as having to obey temporary social distancing rules whilst waiting and once inside.
Here’s the best time to visit various supermarket chains during the Covid-19 pandemic to avoid queues and find essentials.
Morrisons has announced that its stores are quieter later in the day.
The supermarket has said on Twitter : “Thank you to our customers for continuing to shop considerately.
“We’re generally less busy later in the day so if you’d like to shop when it’s quieter, and are able to, try visiting us in the afternoon to get the essentials you need.”
Reduced opening hours has helped Sainsbury’s restock its shelves to help ensure shoppers have a better chance of finding what they need.
A spokesperson for the supermarket told the Express that staff are “working hard to keep our shelves well stocked so that customers can arrive at any point during store open hours and find most of the items that they need”.
Once in, there are still restrictions on popular times including pasta, UHT milk, antibacterial products and some tinned and frozen foods.
Tesco has seen a change in the times shoppers are coming into its stores since the coronavirus crisis started.
Weekends, traditionally a much busier time in its stores, have got quieter with more customers now starting to do their shop during the week.
As a result the flow of customers from day-to-day is much more even now, meaning there are fewer peak periods in Tesco stores.
Budget supermarket Aldi has said its shelves are once again fully stocked after the initial surge in demand last month.
This means customers visiting throughout the day are more likely to find essentials, meaning there is no need to visit first thing in the morning.
An Aldi spokesperson added: “From Tuesday 14 April, we will be extending our opening hours in almost all of our stores so you can shop until 10pm Monday to Saturday, when our stores are quieter. Normal Sunday opening hours remain in place.”
Aldi has also lifted buying restrictions on a number of products including nappies, beers and wines, although customers can only buy hand wash and shower gel in quantities of four and two cartons of UHT milk.
Coronavirus supermarket changes
Asda has temporarily stopped opening its larger stores for 24 hours a day, in a bid to give staff time to replenish the shelves overnight.
Shelves are restocked during the day meaning there’s no need for customers to queue first thing in the morning to get what they need.