New supermarket opening times and rules for Aldi, Asda, Tesco, Morrisons and Sainsbury's during lockdown

Boris Johnson has put the UK on lockdown, banning everyone from leaving their homes except for exercise, medical appointments, travelling to work and shopping for necessities.

Friday, 27th March 2020, 11:31 am

And with that, many supermarkets, specifically those that opened 24-hours, have restricted their opening hours to allow for workers to re-stock shelves.

With many shoppers continuing to stockpile amid the coronavirus crisis, some supermarkets have changed their opening hours to re-stock their shelves and allow for pensioners and the most vulnerable people in our communities, get access to certain items.

In recent weeks, Britain’s supermarket shelves have been stripped of items like toilet roll, pasta, paracetamol and fresh fruit, vegetables and meat as shoppers stockpile amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

Shoppers are seen inside a Tesco store (Photo by Naomi Baker/Getty Images)

In a bid to beat the panic buyers, many supermarkets have introduced special shopping hours for frontline NHS staff as well as the elderly and vulnerable.

Some are limiting the number of people in stores and at ATMs at any one time. This includes putting queuing systems in place.

Many stores have put a crowd control system in place to help manage social distancing. This includes positioning security guards or designated team members at store entrances to keep track of how many customers enter stores at one time.

Product quantity limitations have been in place on a select few product lines to ensure availability for as many customers as possible.

Here’s a round-up of how the UK’s big supermarkets are responding to the challenge, from limiting hours and introducing dedicated times for older shoppers to restricting bulk buying.

Here are the new opening and closing times of supermarkets across the district and when they will be opening JUST for the elderly and vulnerable:


All Aldi stores will open from 8am. However, they will now close at 8pm to allow time for product replenishment and to give additional support to our store colleagues. Sunday opening hours remain unchanged.


A number of stores are now operating at reduced hours. Some Tesco Extra stores and Metro stores have reduced their hours to between 6am and 10pm.

Tesco has introduced a special shopping hour for its workers and NHS staff where those with ID, such as an NHS staff card, can visit the larger stores an hour before opening time on Sundays, browse and do their shopping before the checkouts open.

All stores (except Express stores) will be prioritising the elderly and most vulnerable for one hour between 9am and 10am every Monday, Wednesday and Friday.


Asda will be temporarily closing its 24 stores between midnight and 6am. It will also be prioritising NHS workers in its larger stores from 8am-9am every Monday, Wednesday and Friday.

Customers will only be able to buy up to three of any products across all food items, toiletries and cleaning products.

Pizza counters and cafes have been closed.


The supermarket has introduced an NHS hour at all of their stores every day, Monday to Saturday from 7am to 8am.

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


Co-op haven’t made changes to their opening times, but they are dedicating an hour to vulnerable customers at their stores.

They are also restricting purchases to two per customer on some products, including hand sanitiser, soap, tinned goods, pasta, rice, long-life milk, sugar, baby food and nappies.


Iceland will also open early for elderly customers to visit before stores open to the public.

Each day, elderly shoppers can now visit between 8am and 9am. The final hour of trading Monday to Saturday will also be for NHS staff only.

The supermarket has introduced a temporary cap on sales of several products online including some anti-bacterial soaps and wipes.


Stores will now be open from 8am-8pm Monday to Saturday. This includes those with Argos stores. Sunday opening, Sainsbury's Local and petrol stations' opening hours will all stay the same.

Every Monday, Wednesday and Friday, all of the chain’s supermarkets will dedicate the hour of 8am - 9am to serving elderly, disabled and vulnerable customers, as well as NHS and Social Care workers.


The supermarket opens at 8am, prioritising elderly shoppers for the first hour.

There are also limits of four items per customer on a number of products including toilet roll, tinned food and pasta.


Opening times haven’t changed. But different Nisa stores are offering help to the elderly and vulnerable by offering extended services to customers, including free delivery.

When are the stores opening JUST for the elderly?

Morrisons: 9am to 10am every day from Monday to Saturday to provide more help to the elderly and vulnerable customers.

M&S: The first opening hour will be dedicated to elderly and vulnerable customers and their carers on Mondays and Thursdays.

Sainsbury's: From 8am-9am every Monday, Wednesday and Friday.

Tesco: The stores will be open for the over-65s and their carers for the first hour, as well as NHS staff.

Iceland: Opening one or two hours early for the elderly.

Waitrose: Elderly people can shop for the first hour of opening at some stores.

Co-op: An hour to vulnerable customers at their stores.