Morrisons has announced it will be introducing new rules for afternoon shopping in UK stores.

The supermarket is extending its popular shopping Quieter Hour, turning what can be a daunting task for many people into a calmer experience this World Autism Acceptance Week.

Morrisons first introduced its Quieter Hour in July 2018, welcoming people through its doors who may struggle with music and other noise associated with supermarket shopping.

Extended Quieter Hours will now also run between 2pm to 3pm every week from Monday to Thursday, with the aim of helping even more customers.

During these hours, stores will operate lower levels of lighting, turn off music and radio, avoid making Tannoy announcements, reduce movement of trolleys, turn off checkout beeps and place posters outside informing customers of the changes.

The initiative, which initially took place between 9am and 10am on a Saturday and for the first hour of trade on a Sunday began as part of the National Autistic Society’s Autism Hour campaign.

Charlotte Exell, Business Sponsor of Ability at Morrisons, said: “The weekly shop can be a daunting task for those who may struggle with noises associated with it, from the crashing of trollies to loud voices and music.

“At Morrisons we are always looking for more ways to support customers, the Quieter Hour is incredibly popular in our stores across the nation so we have listened to customers and will now help more shoppers in our extended times.”

Tianna Cowan, Corporate Partnerships Lead at the National Autistic Society, added: “It’s fantastic that Morrisons is extending its Quieter Hour initiative to support more customers while shopping.

“For some of the more than 700,000 autistic people in the UK, the loud, bright and crowded environments of supermarkets can be overwhelming. That’s why it’s vital for all businesses to learn more about the often-small adjustments they can make to be more autism friendly.

“It’s great to see businesses like Morrisons taking the time to understand and create a welcoming environment for autistic people and their families.”