Which supermarkets have delivery slots available?

Louise Whitbread
Elderly and vulnerable customers are being prioritised by some shops, like Sainsbury's: Stockphoto

The new government measures to combat the spread of the coronavirus dictate you should not be leaving your house unless you are going to buy essential items like food, medicine or to exercise.

Instead of going out to supermarkets to buy food frequently, many people have turned to online shopping.

But since this surge, keeping your fridge, freezer and kitchen cupboards stocked however is proving difficult as delivery slots are much less frequent than usual.

Supermarkets have also announced changes in its product purchasing restrictions, Morrisons has upped the limit of three items per customers to four to make it easier for people to donate to food banks, while Waitrose has removed its cap on all fresh food.

If you, or someone you know, is a vulnerable person, you can register yourself or another person on the government's website here, so people can be prioritised for supermarket delivery slots and other help.

Although most supermarkets are struggling to keep up with demand, it’s advisable to continually check back to find delivery slots and to sign up for accounts, if you still can. Once you have a delivery slot booked, most supermarkets let you amend your order.

While other shops, including Sainsbury’s and Iceland, are prioritising the elderly and the vulnerable, and are emailing these customers to confirm they’ve been prioritised.

Marks & Spencer has partnered with Deliveroo to deliver around 60 M&S items such as milk and bread.

To keep you up to date with the latest changes from the supermarkets, we’ve compiled all the information you need to know to organise your next food shop.

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.

Iceland delivery information

Minimum spend: £25

Delivery waiting time: Iceland is limiting online orders to customers over the state pension age (65+), self-isolating and vulnerable people like the disabled. The website shows there are delivery slots available for those people from today up until Wednesday 15 April, but they're currently fully booked.

According to the supermarket, it will be releasing delivery slots during the day, so make sure you check back.

Deliveries may be delayed and the supermarket has said it’s likely that some online orders will be missing items due to the high demand.

Only available to existing customers? No, but you can only order online if you fall into the vulnerable category

Delivery locations: You can check your post code on the website, but deliveries are only available to those over 65 years old and the vulnerable.

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

Store 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.​

Shop at Iceland now

Aldi delivery information

Minimum spend: £0

Delivery waiting time: The current delivery time frame is between three and 10 working days. It has also introduced free delivery on wine and specialbuy products where possible​.

While you can't shop for groceries from Aldi online, it is possible to shop essential items such as cleaning, children and baby products alongside its garden shop and health and beauty range.

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 begins on 13 April in-store.

Only available to existing customers? No, and you can checkout as a guest without registering with just your emails and address details.

Delivery locations: Aldi delivers across mainland UK but expects potential delays in Mitcham, Hayes, Gatwick, Borehamwood and Waltham Cross.​

Rationing: Hand wash and shower gel remain limited to four per person, and a maximum of two UHT milk purchases per person.​ You will only be able to order up to 12 bottles of wine.

Store opening times for key workers and the vulnerable: Aldi has announced it will be introducing a 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. 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.

Shop at Aldi now

Morrisons delivery information

Minimum spend: £40

Delivery waiting time: Morrisons has advised booking delivery slots as far in advance as possible, which can be up to weeks away, but there are no further slots shown on its website. There's currently around a 20-minute wait to get into the website.

On the website it says: "Please note, unfortunately, we currently have no available delivery slots and our contact centre do not have any other access to delivery slots. We are doing everything we can to increase the number of delivery slots and capacity we can accommodate."

The supermarket has teamed up with Deliveroo to offer a 30-minute delivery system to help those who cannot make it to the shops get essentials. It will be available from 130 of its stores, and will be offering around 70 products, including chopped tomatoes, bread and chicken, along with some ready-meals. Prices will be the same as they are in-store, plus a £4.99 delivery fee.

Is it only available to existing customers? No, but you will need to register an account with them in order to shop online.

Delivery locations: There is currently no confirmation that different locations across the UK will be affected more than others.

Rationing: Customers can now buy four of each product, in an attempt to encourage customers to donate to food banks, and removing some restrictions on products altogether, though it has not specified which products this applies to.

Opening times for key workers and the vulnerable: It has introduced an NHS hour at all of its stores Monday to Saturday from 7am-8pm. Morrisons has also launched a click and collect food box service for NHS staff, to help health workers access essential groceries.

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.

Shop at Morrisons now

Asda delivery information

Minimum spend: £40

Delivery waiting time: Asda has increased the number of delivery slots available by 300,000 on top of the 700,000 if usually offers weekly.

However, it has currently sold out of online delivery slots and click and collect slots up until 16 April, and is asking customers to shop in-store when possible to allow vulnerable people to use the online delivery slots.

It will only be showing delivery or click and collect slots for the week ahead.

Only available to existing customers? No, but you will need to register for an account to order groceries online, and new customers can still register.

Delivery locations: There is currently no confirmation that different locations across the UK will be affected more than others.

Rationing: Asda is removing limits on fruit and vegetables and chilled products in-store, but you will only be able to buy three of any product across toiletries, cleaning products and baby milk and any online groceries.

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

Shop at Asda now

Waitrose & Partners delivery information

Minimum spend: £60

Delivery waiting time: Currently delivery slot bookings are fully booked up until 11 July, with more slots being added daily. However, customers who already have slots booked can amend and add to them.

It is prioritising the vulnerable and elderly for both it's home delivery and click and collect slots, with 25 per cent of orders being committed to elderly and vulnerable customers.

On it's website, it says: "These customers are being identified using data we currently hold. We are actively working with the UK government to identify further vulnerable and elderly customers.

"We're doing all we can to make more delivery and click and collect slots available soon. You can still amend or cancel any placed orders as normal."

Waitrose is encouraging customers to wait for further communication from them rather than getting in touch.

Only available to existing customers? You will need to register for an account to order groceries online and new customers can sign up.

Delivery locations: Waitrose hasn’t specified if any locations will be more affected than others.

Rationing: The supermarket has put a temporary cap on items including pasta, tissues, milk, canned goods, and some antibacterial soaps and wipes. However, in-store it has removed restrictions on fresh food, including meat, poultry, fresh soups, desserts, bakery, deli, beer, wines, spirits, Easter confectionery and ready meals, but its cap on toilet roll, a maximum of two packs per person, remain.

Opening times for key workers and the vulnerable: The first opening hour of every Waitrose store will be prioritised for elderly and vulnerable shoppers and those that care for them, 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.

Shop at Waitrose now

Tesco delivery information

Minimum spend: £25

Delivery waiting time: Tesco has announced it has expanded its home delivery and click and collect slots by 145,000 in the last two weeks.

To cope with this, it's also "added more than 200 new vans and recruited another 2,500 drivers and over 5,000 pickers".

It is currently only showing delivery slots until 29 April which are at full capacity and is asking customers who can to come into the store to free up slots for more vulnerable shoppers.

Tesco is also prioritising orders for people on the government's vulnerable list and it will be in touch with them by email.

The supermarket has also said: "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."

Only available to existing customers? You can register as a new customer on the website, and book a delivery slot once they become available.

Delivery locations: There is currently no confirmation that different locations across the UK will be affected more than others, but you can check your postcode on the site.

Rationing: There will be a purchase limit of 80 items per order. In order to prioritise essential items, 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.​

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

NHS workers will have access to a dedicated hour every Tuesday and Thursday and a browsing hour before checkouts open on Sundays. ​

Shop at Tesco now

Most supermarkets are struggling with demand, but advise customers to check back regularly (iStock)

Sainsbury’s delivery information

Minimum spend: £40

Delivery waiting time: Sainsbury’s has prioritised an additional 150,000 delivery slots for elderly, disabled and vulnerable customers, but there is currently no slots available for delivery or click and collect for the next three weeks, however it says to keep checking.

By the end of this week, Sainsbury's will have 600,000 delivery slots available for home delivery and click and collect, and is continuing to add more over the coming weeks.

On its website, it says: "If you’re over 70 years of age, or you’re extremely vulnerable and live in Wales, Scotland or Northern Ireland, you can get access to priority home delivery slots by calling us at 0800 953 4988.

"You can get access to priority home delivery by visiting gov.uk and searching 'coronavirus extremely vulnerable'." The supermarket has said it's already contacted 270,000 customers who they identified as elderly or vulnerable based on the information it has.

If you are self-isolating and having a home delivery, you should let Sainsbury's know so you give the drivers the appropriate delivery instructions.

Only available to existing customers? Yes, Sainsbury’s has paused all-new online registrations.

Delivery locations: You can check your postcode on the website to see if Sainsbury's can deliver to your area.

Rationing: According to Sainsbury's chief executive Mike Coupe, limits of two per person will remain on pasta, long-life milk, antibacterial products and some tinned and frozen foods.

The supermarket has removed its product restrictions on Easter eggs.

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.

Shop at Sainsbury’s now

Marks & Spencer delivery information

Minimum spend: £0

Delivery waiting time: Home deliveries are currently unavailable and orders have been suspended, but all existing orders will be delivered. It has also temporarily closed its "food to order" service, however, existing orders will be fulfilled.

However, it has partnered with Deliveroo to deliver 60 Marks & Spencer products, such as milk, bread and juice to customers across the UK through the app.

M&S is asking people to shop in-store instead: "We have reserved the first hour of trading on certain days for our older and vulnerable customers, and for our brilliant NHS workers."

Only available to existing customers? Once M&S is taking orders again and slots are available, you will need to register an account to order groceries online.

Delivery locations: There is currently no confirmation that different locations across the UK will be affected more than others.

Rationing: Marks & Spencer has placed a limit of two items per customer across all its groceries.

Opening times for key workers and the vulnerable: The first hour of trading in the supermarket is on Monday and Thursday for older and vulnerable customers. 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.

It has also introduced a dedicated banking hour for NHS and emergency service workers between 6pm and 7pm everyday.

Shop at M&S now

Co-op delivery information

Minimum spend: £15

Delivery waiting time: Delivery slots with the Co-op are fully booked up, but the supermarket advises to continuously check back for availability.

Only available to existing customers? No, but you will need to sign up in order to arrange delivery of your shopping once slots are available.

Delivery locations: The service is currently available in some areas of London, Bristol, Brighton, Manchester, Southampton and Bournemouth. It will soon be available in more areas of Manchester, as well as Leeds, Sheffield, Liverpool, Newcastle, Nottingham and Birmingham.

Rationing: When delivery slots 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 store to store, so check your local for details.

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 Monday to Saturday and 10am-11am on Sundays to accommodate them.

Shop at Co-Op now

Ocado delivery information

Minimum spend: £40

Delivery waiting time: Ocado has no slots available, but is prioritising customers identified as vulnerable for slots that will be available on general release for the next 24 hours. New next-day slots will be released every day after 6pm for customers not on the priority list.

On its website, it says: "Customers with a delivery or who have been notified as a priority customer, you can log in to do so."

Only available to existing customers? Ocado is currently not offering delivery slots to new customers.

Delivery locations: There is no confirmation that different locations across the UK will be affected more than others.

Rationing: Ocado is restricting some products to one or two per order, but for the most accurate information on which products this affects, you will need a delivery slot first.

It has also stopped selling heavy bottled water to free up space in vans, which allows it to deliver to an extra 6,000 homes a week.

Shop at Ocado now

For information on Amazon’s deliveries click here, and for the online food boxes still delivering, visit here

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