Coronavirus: What are the supermarket opening times?

Louise Whitbread
Supermarkets have adapted their opening times and priority shopping hours to accommodate the elderly, vulnerable and key workers: Getty

As the government lockdown looks set to continue, supermarkets are one of the few places that remain open in order to keep people fed as normal.

If you’re unable to leave the house and are classed as being part of the vulnerable group, you’ll be able to find all the information on supermarket delivery slots here.

Many of the big shops have adapted their opening hours to accommodate the surge in demand for essentials such as toilet roll, soap, pasta and milk, with amended opening times and priority shopping hours for the elderly, vulnerable and key workers.

As flour continues to be in high demand, Morrisons and Asda has also begun selling it directly from its in-store bakeries, to combat the shortage on shelves. Morrisons has also announced the reopening of its fresh meat and fish counters in-store, including its Summer BBQ, Seafood and Steak Bars.

Police have issued warnings to Tesco and Morrisons customers to remain vigilant, following reports of scam emails and Whatsapp messages referencing the coronavirus and offering free vouchers. According to Action Fraud, the Police's fraud team, more than £2.3m has been lost by more than 1,000 customers.

Alongside this, new guidance from the government briefing on 11 May said people in England should wear face coverings, in "enclosed public spaces", such as in shops and on public transport. Here's our guide to the independent brands you can buy them from for your next trip to the supermarket.

Ahead we’ve gathered all the information you need on supermarkets across the UK, to help you plan your next trip.

You can trust our independent roundups. We may earn commission from some of the retailers, but we never allow this to influence selections. This revenue helps us to fund journalism across The Independent.

Aldi's opening hours

Opening times: 8am-10pm daily, and 10am-4am on Sundays. ​

The store will limit entry during busy times to ensure a 2m distance between customers, as well as having distance markers on the floors of all its stores.

Recently it launched a traffic light system at its entrances, which will signal when customers can enter a store while ensuring there is a two-metre distance maintained at all times.

It is asking customers to only touch the trolleys you intend to use and is providing sanitation stations at the front of its stores to help customers disinfect their hands, trolleys and baskets.

It has also installed perspex protective screens around its tills, is making face masks available to all its staff and is encouraging customers to use contactless or card payments where possible.

The supermarket has launched a Shopper Voucher scheme to enable those unable to leave the house, self-isolating or vulnerable to use online or in-store. The vouchers are available in amounts of £5 or £10, and can be bought on vouchers.aldi.co.uk before being posted, free of charge, to any address in the UK. They can then be given to volunteers to shop on a vulnerable person's behalf.

Opening times for key workers and the vulnerable: ​Aldi is dedicating browsing time for emergency workers (NHS, police and fire service) 30 minutes before the regular opening times every Sunday along with priority ahead of queues every day, will be opened up to other key workers including the fire service, care home workers, St. John's Ambulance staff and first responders. You will need a relevant ID in order to enter the store.​

The elderly, (over 70) and most vulnerable will be able to browse in-store 30 minutes early between Monday and Saturday.

Rationing: Aldi has removed its product restrictions with the exception of wine and spirits, which are limited to orders of up to 12 bottles.​

Aldi baby and toddler event: Aldi has also announced the return of its popular baby and toddler event, launching great value offers, both in-store and online, across a range of essentials, including nappies, baby food and wipes. The event started on 5 April online and began on 13 April in-store.​​

It has also joined the free school meal voucher government scheme, allowing families to redeem vouchers in store. Vouchers are delivered by post or electronically online. According to Gov.uk, parents will be able to order Aldi vouchers from the week commencing 27 April. You can find more information here.

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Asda's opening hours

Opening times: From 11 June, selected Asda stores will now be open 7am-midnight Monday-Saturday. Sunday trading hours remain as normal, which are 11am-5pm. To find which supermarkets will have longer opening hours, check the website store locator.

Hours had been reduced to 8am-8pm Monday to Saturday, while 24-hour stores are still only opening between between 12am-6am.

The number of people allowed in-store will be limited to ensure social-distancing can be employed. Its cafes and deli counters have also closed to prioritise getting essential products to shelves.

On its website, it asks shoppers to "pick up only what you intend to buy" and has installed signs, directional barriers and floor markers to help you do your shopping while maintaining two-metres apart from other customers and staff.

For customers requiring the use of Asda's pharmacies in 255 of its stores, CEO Roger Burnley announced that the supermarket will be launching a 'call and collect' service, which will allow pharmacy customers to call ahead and order their prescription to then collect their medication without coming inside the store.

It is also offering a prescription delivery service for its extremely vulnerable customers, where colleagues will bring essential medication to customers' homes.

For those unable to leave the house, self-isolating or vulnerable, Asda has created the Volunteer Shopping Card, which can be bought online and posted or emailed to a volunteer to do their shopping for them. It can be loaded with any amount between £5 and £150 and can be easily topped up with extra funds online.

Opening times for key workers and the vulnerable: NHS workers will have priority in store on Monday, Wednesday and Friday between 8am-9am.

Rationing: Asda is removing product purchasing limits in-store and online but has said on its website, "To ensure there is enough for everyone, we will occasionally place purchase limits on certain products that are in high demand. Please shop responsibly so there’s enough to go round."

It will also be selling flour directly from its in-store bakeries, due to the high demand for it as more people start baking at home. A 1kg bag of plain white flower will be 60p.

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Co-op's opening hours

Opening times: The majority of Co-op stores will now be open from 7am-8pm, while stores with a petrol station will close at 11pm to allow access to fuel.

Opening times for key workers and the vulnerable: For NHS workers, vulnerable customers and people that care for them, Co-op stores have dedicated from 8am-9am on Saturdays and 10am-11am on Sundays to accommodate them.

Rationing: When delivery slots online do become available, you will only be able to order up to 20 items. Selected products will be limited to two per person, but vary stores to store, so check your local for details.

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Iceland's opening hours

Opening times: Iceland has reduced its opening hours, which vary by store. To check the opening times of your local store, use the store locater on its website.

Opening times for key workers and the vulnerable: The last hour of trade in Iceland stores will be dedicated to NHS customers, with photo ID as proof. In its food warehouse stores, NHS workers will be allowed early access for the first-hour trading at 7am. Again, this varies by stores, so make sure to check your nearest store online.

Rationing: Iceland currently is limiting the purchase of anti-bacterial soaps and wipes though it has not specified what this limit is. It does not have purchasing restrictions on other items but is urging its customers not to stock-pile and only buy what you need.

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Lidl's opening hours

Opening times: Lidl stores are open as usual and its advising customers to check its store finder to find out the opening times of your local store.

It’s also introducing "cough and sneeze-proof" screens at its checkouts and extra security to ensure customers maintain social distancing measures. Goods from the bakery will now be pre-bagged.

Opening times for key workers and the vulnerable: While there are no priority shopping times for key workers and the vulnerable, Lidl has partnered with Royal Voluntary Service to donate fruit and vegetable bags to NHS workers.

Rationing: Lidl has removed all of its purchasing restrictions with the exception of toilet paper, details of which can be found in-store, so keep an eye out next time you make a visit.

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Marks & Spencer's opening hours

Opening times: Marks & Spencer is open as normal, with the exception of its outlet stores that only sell clothing and homewares, and its adjusted opening hours vary store to store, find your local one here.

Opening times for key workers and the vulnerable: For older and vulnerable customers, the first hour of trading in the supermarket is on Monday and Thursday. For NHS and emergency workers, it is Tuesday and Friday.

These new adjusted hours do not apply to petrol stations and shops in railway stations.

Rationing: The supermarket has introduced a temporary restriction of two items per person across grocery items.

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Morrison’s opening hours

Opening times: Morrisons has extended its opening times from 7am-8pm, Monday to Saturday and in England and Wales, Sunday opening hours will be 9:30am-4pm.​ Access to the website can be upwards of a 15 minute wait during busy periods.

Opening times for key workers and the vulnerable: ​It has introduced an NHS hour at all of its stores Monday to Saturday from 6am-7am and between 9am-9:30am on Sundays.

After placing an order through a dedicated website, NHS staff will be able to collect a food box from an allocated collection point in hospital car parks, to make it easier for them to collect essentials after their shift has ended. The scheme started at two Leeds hospitals, with collections on Monday and Thursday between 6am-8am for night shifts and 4pm-6pm for day shifts.

The boxes are available for both vegetarians and meat-eaters and are priced at £30. They both include essentials such as toilet roll, pasta, rice, tinned goods and fruit and vegetables.

Morrisons has also launched a Ramadan food box to help its Muslim customers observe the holy month beginning 23 April. Each box costs £35 and contains staple items such as dates and chicken breast, you can order your box here.

Alongside this, Morrisons also recently launched a BBQ box for £35, filled with kebabs, burgers, sausages, bread's and salads to help enjoy the sunny weekends in lockdown. ​

On 12 May, it launched a British farmers food box for £45, filled with fresh produce including meats, vegetables, milk and cheeses. As many farmers have been unable to sell produce to the restaurant trade as a result of the lockdown, £1 from every British Farmers Food Box will be donated to British farming charities via The Prince's Countryside Fund.

The supermarket has also given £10m worth of food donations to food banks amid the coronavirus outbreak.

Rationing: Morrisons has removed all purchasing restrictions on its products, but any shopping in-store will be limited to one trolley per customer. It has also introduced a "Speedy Shopping" lane outside its stores, letting three people in using baskets for every person using a trolley.

It will also be selling flour directly from its in-store bakeries, due to the high demand for it as more people start baking at home. It will cost 60p for a 1kg bag of white bread flour, plain flour, self-raising or wholemeal flour, or a supersized 16kh bag of white bread flour, plain flour or self-raising flour will be £9. ​

The supermarket has also announced the reopening of its fresh meat and fish counters in-store, including its Summer BBQ, Seafood and Steak Bars.

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Sainsbury’s opening hours

Opening times: Sainsbury’s stores will be open between 8am-8pm between Monday and Saturday.

Sunday opening hours will remain the same but vary across the country so check the store locater here for your local store times. The supermarket has limited the number of people permitted to enter a store at any one time, meaning queueing systems are in place where needed. It has also reduced the number of checkouts available in its supermarkets, convenience stores and petrol stations and will be introducing safety screens at manned checkouts.

Its petrol filling station stores will start to re-open from next week and it is also extending opening hours in some of its convenience stores to 10pm or 11pm. Find your nearest Sainsbury's using the online store locator.

Opening times for key workers and the vulnerable: For the elderly, disabled and carers, Sainsbury’s is dedicating 8am-9am every Monday, Wednesday and Friday for shopping. NHS and social care workers will be able to shop in supermarkets for 30 minutes before they open, from 7:30am-8am, from Monday to Saturday.

Rationing: The supermarket has said limits of two per person will remain in place on items including pasta, long-life milk, antibacterial products and some tinned and frozen foods.

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Tesco's opening hours

Opening times: Tesco’s opening hours vary store to store, so check the trading times of your local store here. The supermarket has stopped its 24-hour stores to give staff enough time to replenish shelves.

It has also increased its number of home delivery slots, meaning some store opening times will change: "To give us time to pick more online orders, stores which have an online grocery operation will open their doors a little later – from 8am. Our customers can check the opening hours for their local store on our website."

It encourages anyone who is able to safely come into stores to do so, to free up online delivery slots for those most in need.

Opening times for key workers and the vulnerable: For vulnerable and elderly customers, Tesco stores will be prioritised between 9am-10am every Monday, Wednesday and Friday.

NHS workers will have access to a dedicated hour to shop every Tuesday and Thursday and Sunday before checkouts open. These amended shopping hours do not apply to Tesco Express stores.

Rationing: There will be a purchase limit of 80 items per order. Tesco has removed the restriction of three items of one product per customer, with the exception of toilet roll and paper goods, household and personal cleaning products including hand sanitisers, packets and tins of food including pasta and rice, fresh eggs and home baking.​​

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Waitrose & Partner's opening hours

Opening times: Waitrose shops are open as usual Monday-Sunday, but specific times vary store to store, so check the branch finder here for your local shop.

Opening times for key workers and the vulnerable: The first opening hour of every Waitrose store will be prioritised for elderly and vulnerable shoppers, which again varies shop to shop.

For NHS staff, Waitrose is setting aside hard-to-find and essential products, and giving a priority checkout service to ensure NHS workers get through the store speedily.

Additionally, Waitrose has set up a £1m community support fund to be distributed to local communities in the form of care packages and essential to local care homes and community groups.

The supermarket has also donated £75,000 to three charities; Age Uk, FareShare and The Trussell Trust.

Rationing: In-store, Waitrose has removed restrictions on fresh food, including meat, poultry, fresh soups, desserts, bakery, deli, beer, wines, spirits and ready meals, but its cap on toilet roll, a maximum of two packs per person, remain.

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For more information on where to get online food deliveries, read our guides online food shops still delivering and subscription delivery services

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