Supermarket sites including Asda, Tesco and Sainsbury’s crash after PM’s speech
Supermarket websites have crashed following Boris Johnson's announcement of a lockdown.
In his address to the nation, the Prime Minister told the public to stay at home, with the exceptions of trips to buy food or collect medication.
He ordered all "non-essential" shops to close, leaving only food stores, corner shops, hardware stores, chemists and petrol stations to remain open.
Mr Johnson encouraged people to use food delivery services where possible, which has since led to websites crashing.
Even if shoppers get through, they will struggle to find available delivery slots.
Asda, Tesco and Sainsbury's are among the supermarkets whose websites have crashed since the lockdown announcement.
When attempting to open the Asda online shopping site, users are met with a message that reads: "Give us a moment, we're just fixing something."
It's a similar story on the Tesco website, where customers are greeted with the message: "Because our site is so busy right now, you may experience some delays".
Coronavirus lockdown: Full list of 'essential' shops staying open as UK shuts down
Sainsbury's introduced a new delivery policy on Monday to ensure the elderly and most vulnerable are given priority.
The supermarket chain also changed its opening hours, in an effort to protect vulnerable shoppers and still let key workers get what they need before the shelves are cleared.
"We'll be back soon", a message on the Sainsbury's website reads.
The new rules in full:
- From Monday 23rd March, opening at all our supermarkets will be open from 08.00 to 20.00 Monday – Saturday. With the exception of some stores in Scotland, Sunday opening hours will stay the same (please check on Store Locator for Sunday opening hours in your store). Sainsbury’s Local and petrol station hours will stay the same
- Every Monday, Wednesday and Friday, all supermarkets will dedicate 08.00 to 09.00 to serving elderly customers, disabled customers and carers
- NHS and social care workers will be able to shop for half an hour before they open, from Monday to Saturday. Anyone with NHS ID will be able to shop from 07.30 to 08.00 on these days
- Prioritised online delivery slots for elderly, disabled and vulnerable customers. If you’re elderly, disabled or vulnerable and think you should be on the vulnerable customer list, get in touch on 0800 328 1700
- Adding more Click & Collect locations (from Monday 23 March)
- Putting limits on certain products (from Wednesday 18 March)
- Closing our cafes and counters (from Thursday 19 March).
Last week, the UK's major supermarkets announced rationing on certain products.
This is what's been imposed so far:
Tesco has introduced a three-item limit on all items including pasta, baked beans, anti-bacterial wipes, gels and sprays, and long-life milk until further notice.
It also cut opening hours at all its 24-hour stores saying it would be open from 6am and 10pm as the UK moves to restrict movement in a bid to control the virus.
The grocer told Mirror Money it's actions are being "continuously reviewed".
Customers will be able to buy a maximum of three of any grocery product.
Those limits shrink to a maximum of two of each of its most popular items including toilet paper, soap, and UHT (long-lasting) milk.
Sainsbury's added it would close counters and cafes to make sure as much space and as many staff as possible were devoted to essentials.
Stores will set aside aside the first hour in every supermarket for elderly and vulnerable customers. For all other customers, supermarkets will open one hour after the published opening time.
Vulnerable customers would also get priority with online delivery slots.
Aldi has restricted all items in its store to four units a person.
The budget boss of the chain say it had seen an "unprecedented demand" across its range and its wants to make all of its customers can purchase everything.
It's also closing earlier – at 8pm rather than 10pm From Friday – in an effort to give staff more time to stock shelves.
Sunday opening hours will remain the same – except in Scotland where they will close at 6pm.
Aldi added: "All our stores remain open and continue to serve our valued customers.
"We have good product availability and our colleagues are working tirelessly to restock and replenish shelves as quickly as they can."
Asda has announced it is restricting all customers to buying up to three items on all food, toiletries and cleaning products amid a surge in demand following the coronavirus outbreak.
Hand sanitiser had already been restricted to two per person both in-store and online.
The supermarket chain also said it will close its cafes and pizza counters to free space and staff in order to help keep shelves fully stocked.
The retailer has also temporarily reduced the opening hours of all its 24-hour stores, so that they will be closed between 12am and 6am each day for re-stocking.
Waitrose has said it will shut all cafés and restaurants from Friday Match 20, to allow staff to keep shelves replenished throughout the day.
All items will also be limited to three per person – with toilet roll limited to just two.
Coffee bars will also be closed until further notice – while some branches will also close early to allow staff to restock aisles with essential items.
From Friday, the supermarket will also start a new shopping hour for the elderly and vulnerable, allowing them to pick up goods on a priority need basis.
Morrisons has imposed restrictions on cleaning products – with bleach now capped at six per person and two for hand sanitisers.
Customers will now be asked to pay by card or smartphone to reduce cash handling.
To help manage a rise in online orders, the grocer said it will launch a new range of simple-to-order food parcels, including options for vegetarians, from March 23.
In the coming weeks, a further 100 stores will also be used to gather online orders to ensure customers get the products they need.
A post on the Morrisons website, explains: "You may notice that delivery slots for our online groceries service are becoming less readily available as demand for home deliveries increases. We're working hard to facilitate as many orders as we can, however please be aware that you may need to book your slot further in advance than usual.
"You will also discover that there is a maximum order number on selected products so we can make sure our customers still have access to essential products."
Morrisons also said it will create 3,500 more jobs to speed up home deliveries, while offering staff access to a "hardship fund" to help cover their bills as the pandemic continues to sweep through Britain.
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