Coronavirus: when your local Sussex supermarket is open for NHS and care staff, the elderly, and vulnerable

Special opening hours and priority delivery slots have been put in place for the elderly, vulnerable and NHS and care workers in major supermarkets like Sainsbury’s, Tesco, ASDA and more during the coronavirus pandemic.

Other measures have been put in place, including reduced opening hours, limits on the number of certain items that can be bought, and cleaning stations.

It is worth remembering that on Sundays, most supermarkets allow you to enter half an hour to an hour before to browse, but do not let you check out until a certain time.

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Self scan handheld devices can be used during this time, meaning you can scan as you shop and then pay when you are allowed to.

Supermarket shelves have been stripped in wake of the coronavirus. Picture: Pixabay

Check your local store opening times in the links below.

Here’s what your local supermarket is doing for the elderly, vulnerable, and NHS and care staff:


Sainsbury’s stores have changed their opening hours to 8am to 8pm Monday to Saturday, with Sunday opening hours staying the same.

There are dedicated shopping hours for the elderly, vulnerable and disabled people from 8am to 9am on Monday, Wednesday and Friday.

They have prioritised online delivery slots for elderly, disabled and vulnerable customers, and ask anyone who hasn’t been emailed but thinks they should be on the list to call 0800 328 1700.

NHS and social care workers will be able to shop from 7.30am to 8am from Monday to Saturday, and will need to bring a valid form of ID like an NHS staff card.

Store colleagues have been asked to keep a supply of essential items aside during these time slots.

Customers will be allowed buy a maximum of three of any grocery products and a maximum of two of the most popular products including toilet paper, soap and UHT milk.

Opening hours in Sainsbury’s Locals have not changed.

They are asking customers to practice social distancing by standing one metre apart from people, and to pay with card rather than cash at tills.

Sainsbury’s is also increasing Click+Collect locations for customers, and all cafés, meat, fish and pizza counters are closed.

To find your local store, click here.


Waitrose has introduced new measures to help meet the needs of customers, especially the elderly and vulnerable.

Dedicated shopping for elderly and vulnerable shoppers will take place during the first hour of opening - check to see when your local Waitrose will be open.

Some hard to find and essential products will be set aside from every delivery for NHS staff - they will need to show their valid NHS card.

NHS staff are being given priority checkout service so they can get through as quickly and easily as possible, either through dedicated NHS checkouts, by opening up new tills as needed, or moving them to the front of the queue.

All cafés, rotisseries, and coffee making services have been suspended.

There is a limit of three for any specific grocery item, and a maxiumum of two packets of toilet roll allowed per customer.

To find your local store, click here.

ASDA stores have changed their opening times to 8am to 8pm to allow for restocking.

They are asking people to not shop until 9am to allow the elderly, vulnerable and carers to shop, and will have an NHS hour in larger stores on Monday, Wednesday and Friday from 8am to 9am.

Customers can only buy up to three of any product across all food items, toiletries and cleaning products, and the rotisserie and pizza counters have closed.

People are encouraged to use cashless payment options, and additional cleaning materials have been added, with high traffic areas of stores being cleaned more often.

Cleaning stations at the front of stores are also being topped up frequently, making it easier to sanitise trolleys and baskets before and after use.

To find information on your local store, click here.


Iceland is offering priority to elderly and vulnerable people in all 121 of their The Food Warehouse stores across the UK from 8am to 9am Monday to Saturday.

They have also asked the managers of all 855 Iceland stores to offer the same priority during the first hour of trading.

NHS workers will have priority access from 7am to 8am in The Food Warehouse, and in Iceland stores during the last hour of trading, on presentation of an NHS photo ID.

Only card payments will be accepted, ideally contactless.

Customers are advised to contact their local store for information on individual opening times.

There is a cap on sales of certain products online, including some anti-bacterial soaps and wipes.

Online orders are now only for those over state pension age, self-isolating, and other vulnerable and disabled people.

To find your local store, click here.


Tesco has also announced a dedicated shopping hour for NHS staff and the vulnerable.

Vulnerable and elderly customers can shop from 8am to 10am every Monday, Wednesday and Friday in all Extras, Superstores and Metros, but not in Express stores.

Customers are encouraged to choose Click+Collect instead of delivery where possible, to free up slots for the elderly, vulnerable, and those who are self isolating.

NHS staff can visit stores from 5am on Sundays for priority shopping, and must show a valid form of ID like an NHS staff card.

Tesco store opening hours are now 6am to 10pm, and there is a restriction of three items per customer on every product line with multi-buy promotions removed.

All meat, fish, deli and salad counters have been closed to allow for shelf stocking to be prioritised and to avoid wasted food.

Social distancing is in place at checkouts, and customers are encouraged to pay by card.

Tesco has also announced it is hiring 20,000 new staff.

To find your local store, click here.


Morrisons has introduced new ways of delivering groceries and more slots for customers, including a new range of easy to order food parcels, more delivery slots online and on Amazon Prime Now, and launching a customer call centre for orders.

They have launched a next-day delivery scheme for meat eaters of vegetarians, which costs £35 and if ordered before 3pm it will arrive the next day.

The contents of the boxes are random but Morrisons have promised they are full of the essentials.

The meat eater box will have a selection of food including fresh meat and essential household items, and the vegetarian box will have food suitable for vegetarians, pluss essential household items.

NHS workers will have priority shopping from 7am to 8am, with the production of a valid ID, Monday to Saturday.

There are no set times for elderly and vulnerable customers.

Opening hours have changed to 8am to 8pm Monday to Saturday, with Sundays remaining the same at 10am to 4pm.

Every online product will be restricted to three per customer.

Customers will be restricted on purchases of cleaning products, with bleach capped at six bottles per person and two for hand sanitisers.

To find your local store, click here.

Lidl has reduced its opening hours but as of Tuesday, March 24, there has been no information released regarding elderly and vulnerable shopping hours or NHS staff.

Stores are open from 8am until 8pm.

There are limits of four items per customer on certain products including tinned foods, pasta and toilet paper.

To find your local store, click here.


Aldi will be opening from 8am to 8pm from Monday to Saturday, and Sunday from 10am to 4pm.

Stores will open from 9.30am and 10am on Sundays specifically for key workers in the NHS, police and fire service.

Aldi said eligible customers will be able to take priority at checkouts when they open at 10am.

Clear screens will be installed at all Aldi checkouts to protect colleagues and customers.

Stores are advising colleagues and customers to observe government advice on social distancing in stores.

All nappies and paper products, such as toilet and kitchen roll, are restricted to two items per customer.

All other products remain restricted to four items per customer, with the exception of non-food Specialbuys, Easter products and fresh flowers which have no restrictions.

Due to ‘unprecedented demand’, wine orders may take longer to arrive.

There is currently no guidance on elderly, vulnerable and NHS staff shopping hours.

To find your local store, click here.


Co-op supermarkets have introduced vulnerable shopping hours and purchasing restrictions.

Stores will be open for elderly and vulnerable shoppers from 8am to 9am Monday to Saturday and 10am to 11am on Sundays.

Restrictions have also been put on certain items to aid stock control.

Customers are restricted from purchasing more than two products on some lines, including hand sanitiser, soap, tinned goods, pasta, rice, long-life milk, sugar, baby food and nappies.

To find your local store, click here.


M&S is dedicated the first hour of trading at all stores to elderly and vulnerable shoppers on Mondays and Thursdays.

An NHS shopping hour has also been introduced during the first hour of trading on Tuesdays and Fridays, on presentation of a valid form of ID such as an NHS staff card.

Store opening times vary from 7am to 8am, and some stores will be closing earlier.

Customers are advised to contact their local store for more information on shopping times.

A three item limit on certain products and a limit of two packets of toilet roll are in place.

The contact free delivery service means customers will have the option of no hand-to-hand contact and deliveries will be left safely at customers’ doors.

To find your local store, click here.