As of 0.01am yesterday morning (Wednesday, January 6), the government introduced a strict March-style lockdown across England.
Once again, we’re only able to leave the home for a limited amount of reasons.
One of these reasons is to shop for essentials.
But as vulnerable people have been asked to once again shield, many are being forced to shop online instead.
It’s meant that delivery slots are becoming increasingly difficult to secure of at England’s biggest supermarkets.
Thankfully, many of the biggest names have brought in regulations to make booking online slots simpler.
Here are all the latest delivery slot rules as some of England’s biggest supermarkets.
The UK’s biggest supermarket has introduced a series of measures to make sure those who need delivery slots can get them.
They’ve asked anyone who is able to shop in-store to do so, as to free up slots for those who really don’t have an alternative.
Tesco has also increased the number of delivery slots on offer.
On their website, Tesco said: “We’ve more than doubled the number of online slots to 1.5 million each week.
“This is to help anyone who’s unable to shop in‐store – especially our most vulnerable customers – so they can access our online service.
“Last week, we delivered more orders than ever before, and we’ll continue to increase the number of online slots available.”
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Tesco has also changed how it makes home deliveries, to make it safer for vulnerable customers at home.
They’ve also committed to delivering to anyone who may be self-isolating.
They said: “Our deliveries are continuing, and we’ll deliver to customers in self-isolation.
“Our deliveries are continuing, and we’ll deliver to customers in self-isolation.
“You can let us know that you’re in self-isolation when you order (using the delivery notes box) or let the driver know at the door so that they can deliver safely.
Tesco added: “Our drivers have also been told how to check a customer’s age during these circumstances.
“For example, they may ask you to verify your age by showing them proof of identification, where possible, either from a distance or through a window/glass.
“You can let us know that you’re in self-isolation when you order (using the delivery notes box) or let the driver know at the door so that they can deliver safely.”
Asda has also committed to delivering to as many vulnerable people as possible.
They offer food boxes with can be delivered by couriers to someone’s front door, and include pre-selected essential items.
They’ve also been working closely with the government in an effort to try and deliver as safely as possible.
Asda said on their website: “To help reduce the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19) and to keep you and our colleagues safe, all our delivery drivers and collections colleagues will maintain at least a two-metre distance at all times.
“Our colleagues have been provided with alcohol hand gel and cleaning materials to keep our equipment clean for every order.”
Asda has also committed to delivering to care homes as a priority, meaning that delivery slots may be thinner on the ground for everyone else.
They said: “At Asda we know that care homes do important work to help and support some of our nation’s most vulnerable people.
“So we have given our existing care home customers priority access to our delivery slots.
“This is an extra Asda initiative alongside our work with government.”
Asda added: “Understandably the demand for online shopping is really high, please check back regularly as we continue to work on increasing our capacity.”
Every supermarket has faced an increase in the number of people trying to use delivery services.
It has led to slots going incredibly quickly.
That’s why Morrisons have allowed vulnerable people – as well as those who have paid extra for a Delivery Pass – to book slots further into the future than regular customers.
On their website, they said: “All our slots are shown online on the website.
“Delivery pass holders and people on the government vulnerable list can see up to to 21 days of slots available.
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“All non-delivery pass holders can see up to 7 days available slots in advance.
“All available slots are shown on the website.
“We do not add customers onto the vulnerable list the list is provided by the government.”
They have also apologised if deliveries are late in these difficult times, and have promised to get in touch with customers if this lateness affects them.
They wrote: “We are working very hard to get your shopping to you on time in these exceptional times.”
Like the other big supermarkets, Sainsbury’s have also prioritised vulnerable people.
Those on their elderly, disabled and vulnerable list (EDV) receive prioritised delivery slots, to make sure they don’t miss out.
Sainsbury’s said on their website: “We’ve been working hard to expand our service across home delivery and we are now able to offer home delivery slots to many of our customers.
“We’re continuing to prioritise access to home delivery slots for vulnerable customers and we are releasing new slots regularly.”
They added: “We don’t currently have restrictions in place for amount of delivery slots per customer, but we are monitoring this closely and will make our customers aware if this changes.
“If you’re unable to find an available slot, please check back regularly as we continue to release new slots.”
Sainsbury’s, like Asda, have also removed bags from their deliveries to keep the home delivery process as hygienic as possible.
They said: “We’re continuing with bagless grocery deliveries currently.
“Bagless deliveries helps shoppers with social distancing in-store and is much quicker to pick.
“This means we can give as many people as possible access to Groceries Online, which is an important service right now, particularly for elderly, disabled and vulnerable customers.”
Iceland was praised as the first major supermarket to bring in priority in-store hours for elderly and vulnerable people in the beginnings of the pandemic.
Although these have now stopped, the frozen food supermarket has kept restrictions and priorities for these people online.
Iceland said: “We are prioritising those on the UK governments’ official ‘shielded’ lists of the most vulnerable people, and have made direct contact by email with those who are already on the Iceland customer database to offer them priority shopping opportunities.
They added: “We continue to support the effort to feed the nation during the outbreak, and have taken a number of measures to reach those most in need during recent months.
“We are offering priority slots to the most vulnerable people, and although we can’t offer a priority slot to everyone with suspected symptoms, availability of slots for our online delivery service remains good.
“We would encourage anyone in this position to book a slot using our website, or ask a friend or neighbour to shop on their behalf and deliver their shopping, adhering to social distancing measures.”