Tesco, Asda & Sainsbury’s introduce new opening hours for NHS workers – when can you shop?

The coronavirus pandemic has left empty shelves across the country as Britons stock up on essential items. Supermarket chains Tesco, Asda and Sainsbury’s have introduced new opening hours to allow NHS workers and the elderly to get their shopping. When can you shop?


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Earlier this week, Tesco announced NHS workers can enter their supermarkets one hour before they are due to open.

A statement read: “We know that those working for the NHS may be finding it hard to find time to shop for their groceries at the moment.

“So, from this Sunday, we’re going to introduce a special hour in stores for NHS staff as a thank you for all they are doing.

“They can come to our large stores one hour before the usual store opening time every Sunday, and will be able to browse the store and select their shopping before the checkouts open.”

All shoppers need to do is bring their NHS staff card in order to access the supermarket.

Elderly and vulnerable customers also have reserved times to access the supermarkets.

The statement explained: “To ensure our more vulnerable and elderly customers can shop in-store, we will prioritise one hour every Monday, Wednesday and Friday morning between 9am and 10am (except in our Express stores) and ask that customers respect this.”


The popular retailer has reserved shopping hours for NHS doctors, nurses and staff.

A statement from Asda CEO Roger Burnley said: “We know that our amazing NHS staff are working harder than ever, which is why, as of next week, we have decided to prioritise their access to our stores every Monday, Wednesday and Friday from 8am to 9am in our larger stores.”

This will come into effect on Monday 23 March and workers will be able to fill up their trolleys during those times.

The shop is also reserved for elderly and vulnerable customers from the opening time until 9am.


In a statement released today, Sainsbury’s Chief Executive Mike Coupe explained they would make further changes to their opening hours.

Elderly shoppers will be able to fill up their trolleys for an hour in the morning before other shoppers have access.


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A statement from Mike read: “Every Monday, Wednesday and Friday, all our supermarkets will dedicate 08.00 to 09.00 to serving elderly customers, disabled customers and carers.”

As well as this, the supermarket chain will offer exclusive delivery slots to those who are elderly, disabled or vulnerable.

The Sainsbury’s CEO added: “We have been able to identify a number of customers as elderly and vulnerable based on the information they have given us previously.

“These details would include date of birth and if you have ever used our vulnerable customer helpline.

“For all of these customers, we will email you today with information on when slots will become available.”

Sainsbury’s will also open early for NHS staff and social care workers to get essentials.

“We have decided to allow NHS and social care workers to shop in our supermarkets for half an hour before they open each day,” Mike explained.

“So anyone with NHS ID will be able to shop from 07.30 to 08.00 every day from Monday to Saturday.

“We’re delighted to be able to offer priority shopping to all the hard-working NHS staff across the country who are working so hard to keep us all safe and well.”

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