While the country endures a third national lockdown, supermarkets are having to change rules for shoppers as essential retailers remain open.

As was the case during the first lockdown, Supermarkets will stay open so that people can still shop for essential items.

But with authorities battling to keep on top of a rapid rise in Covid cases, a string of supermarket chains are having to announce new rules to keep customers and staff safe.

Morrisons' move to make face coverings compulsory without a medical exemption earned praise from Health Secretary Matt Hancock.

Speaking at a Downing Street press conference, he said: “I applaud the action Morrisons has taken today, the supermarket, they have said that they will not let people in without a mask unless they clearly have a medical reason.

“That’s the right approach and I want to see all parts of society playing their part in this.”

Here are the latest rules you will need to know before doing your weekly shop.

Chester and District Standard: Morrisons. (PA)Morrisons. (PA)


Morrisons confirmed that customers who refuse to wear a mask without a medical examption will be asked to leave store.

The move from Morrisons comes amid a third national lockdown with England’s Chief Medical Officer Chris Whitty saying we have reached the ‘worst point of this epidemic for the UK’.

Morrisons chief executive David Potts said: "Those who are offered a face covering and decline to wear one won't be allowed to shop at Morrisons unless they are medically exempt.

"Our store colleagues are working hard to feed you and your family, please be kind."

Chester and District Standard: Sainsbury's. (PA)Sainsbury's. (PA)


Sainsbury’s has followed Morrisons to enforce mask wearing and shopping alone in UK stores as the country battles a rapid rise in Covid cases.

In a statement, one of the UK’s biggest supermarket chains asked customers to play their part.

Simon Roberts, chief executive of Sainsbury's, said: "I've spent a lot of time in our stores reviewing the latest situation over the last few days and on behalf of all my colleagues, I am asking our customers to help us keep everyone safe.

“The vast majority of customers are shopping safely, but I have also seen some customers trying to shop without a mask and shopping in larger family groups.

"Please help us to keep all our colleagues and customers safe by always wearing a mask and by shopping alone.

"Everyone's care and consideration matters now more than ever."

Trained security guards will challenge customers who are not wearing a mask or shopping in groups.

Sainsbury’s has also revealed that it will significantly reduce the number of people allowed in stores at any one time.

Only one adult per household will be allowed in store, children are welcome but only if they cannot stay at home while you shop.

Chester and District Standard: Tesco. (PA)Tesco. (PA)


Tesco has said it is still enforcing social distancing in stores but as of yet, had no plans to reintroduce measures such as one-way aisles.

“The safety of our customers and colleagues is our top priority and we already have extensive social distancing measures in our stores to ensure everyone can shop safely with us,” the store said on Twitter.

“We are asking all our customers to wear a face covering when visiting our stores and have prominent signs in place to inform customers of the rules.

“However, there may be some customers who are unable to wear a face covering for medical or safety reasons and we have asked our colleagues to respect that and to not challenge them directly.”

Chester and District Standard: ASDA. (PA)ASDA. (PA)


Asda is also asking customers to wear a mask when visiting UK stores with packets of disposable face masks available in every store.

On the website it reads: “Customers must wear face coverings while in store.

“Customers can enter Asda stores without a face covering if they have a medical condition or invisible disability that prevents them from wearing a covering.

“To help our customers adjust to the new rules and in case someone forgets to bring their own covering, packets of disposable masks are available in every store and can be opened and worn whilst shopping with us, before paying for these at the tills.”

The supermarket chain has also employed over 1,000 safety marshals who will be stationed at the front of every store to help customers with any safety queries and reiterate Government guidelines.

Asda CEO and President, Roger Burnley, said: “As Covid restrictions are tightened across the UK to protect our health, we will continue to do all we can to keep colleagues and customers safe in store as we have since the start of the pandemic.

“Our stores and distribution centres have proved to be highly resilient to the challenges of a national lockdown and we are confident that we can continue to deliver choice and value for customers in the weeks ahead.

“We are asking customers can play their part too by continuing to shop considerately and respecting social distancing when they visit our stores.”

Chester and District Standard: Aldi. (PA)Aldi. (PA)


Aldi has asked its customers not to panic buy saying there is “good availability” on all products and regular delivery times. Stores will also have an increased contactless limit of £45 in an attempt to encourage payments by card.

Aldi’s CEO Giles Hurley said: "As new Government restrictions are introduced across the UK, I want to reassure you that all our stores are fully stocked, we have good availability and there are regular deliveries, at least once a day. There is no need to buy more than normal so please shop considerately.

"If you can’t make it into one of our stores, our new Click & Collect service is now available in over 200 locations. Visit  groceries.aldi.co.uk  to see if this new service is available in your area."

He added: "Of course our measures to ensure that you can continue to shop safely at your local Aldi remain in place.

  • All our stores have a traffic light system at entrances to ensure a safe number of people can shop at any one time, whilst maintaining social distancing.
  • We have protective screens at all 7,000 of our checkouts and all stores have sanitisation stations for customer use.
  • There are clear signs and social distancing markers advising how to shop safely.
  • We are encouraging payment by card or contactless when possible, with an increased contactless limit of £45.
  • We continue to provide NHS, Blue Light and vulnerable customers priority access at specific times.

"Our colleagues wear face masks in store, unless they are behind screens at the checkout or are exempt for medical reasons. Thank you for supporting us and keeping others safe by wearing one too."

Chester and District Standard: Lidl. (PA)Lidl. (PA)


Lidl have moved to put customers at ease when visiting their stores amid the ongoing health crisis.

On their website it says: “We are committed to offering our shoppers high quality products at the lowest possible prices throughout this public health emergency.

“As is the case in normal times, fluctuations in raw material prices may be reflected on sticker prices in store.

“During this public health emergency, we are diligently adhering to all state and local regulations with regard to price increases and more broadly are committed to fair pricing everywhere we operate at all times.

“In this time of increased anxiety and concern, shoppers can feel confident that Lidl is a destination committed to serving them with the highest value every day.”

Chester and District Standard: M&S (PA)M&S (PA)


There are additional social distancing measures in place across UK stores as well as additional hygiene measures to keep staffs and shoppers safe.

Face covering are also mandatory in all stores with the exception of young children and people with certain health conditions.

“It is mandatory for customers to wear face coverings in stores across the UK, with the exception of young children or people with certain health conditions,” they say on their website.

“M&S colleagues are required to wear face coverings in England, Scotland and Wales. As with customers, the government has made some exceptions for colleagues.

“In our M&S cafes, it is a legal requirement to wear face coverings when not seated. Customers do not have to wear face coverings when seated to eat or drink.”

Chester and District Standard: Waitrose. (PA)Waitrose. (PA)


Waitrose are also asking customers to wear a face mask to help keep staff and consumers safe.

“In line with the new Government rule, we’re asking customers to wear a face covering while shopping with us,” it says on the website.

“All customers apart from children under 11 (in our Scottish shops this is under the age of five), and those with certain health conditions who are exempt, should wear a face mask, scarf or other face covering.

“Please remember that not all disabilities are visible, so please be understanding of other shoppers who may not be able to follow this rule.”