SAINSBURY’S changed its opening hours across its UK stores after the government ordered the British public to stay at home amid the coronavirus outbreak.

The supermarket has revealed it has undertaken new measures to cope with the increased demand from shoppers.

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When are Sainsbury’s branches opening and closing?

The opening and closing times of the supermarket have been reduced as the virus has spread.

It comes after shelves were stripped bare after Brits began panic-buying groceries.

NHS staff will have priority Monday to Saturday from 7.30am to 8am while the store's elderly customers, carers and disabled customers have a dedicated shopping hour from 8am to 9am Monday, Wednesday and Friday.

For all other customers, Sainsbury's opens at 9am. Previously, opening hours for Sainsbury’s varied from 6am to 7am.

Meanwhile, the chain has closed cafes as well as meat, fish and pizza service counters.

Some existing elderly, disabled or vulnerable customers are expected to receive emails from Sainsbury's with information about delivery slots but those that haven't and want to be added to the list can contact the supermarket on 0800 328 1700.

When is the best time to shop there?

Google has a tracker which allows you to see when the peak times are.

If you search for “Sainsbury's” and then click on your nearest store, it will show a bar chart of when the store’s busiest times are.

What should I buy when I’m there?

The Government and supermarkets have urged shoppers not to panic buy and have repeatedly said there is “enough food for everyone”.

We have compiled a list of what you need if you want to stockpile for two weeks now that Boris Johnson has told Brits to shop as infrequently as possible.


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Is there a limit on items?

Yes. Sainsbury’s announced it was limiting every item in its store to a maximum of just three groceries per person and two of popular items.

The popular items are toilet roll, kitchen roll, soap, UHT milk, cleaning fluid, cleaning wipes, pasta, tinned veg, handwash and hand sanitiser.

Announcing the restrictions on March 17, chief executive Mike Coupe said: "As we work to feed the nation, we are also focusing all of our efforts on getting as much food and other essential items from our suppliers, into our warehouses and onto shelves as we possibly can.

"We still have enough food for everyone – if we all just buy what we need for us and our families."

Can I order online?

  • Only vulnerable shoppers are currently eligible for Sainsbury's online delivery.
  • You can get access to priority home delivery slots by registering on GOV.UK as extremely vulnerable to coronavirus.
  • Sainsbury's say they have already made contact with 270,000 shoppers who they have identified as vulnerable or elderly.
  • Over 70s in Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland, can call 0800 953 4988 to register for online deliveries.
  • Vulnerable shoppers will be entitled to one delivery per week.

Meanwhile Morrisons has created 3,500 jobs to help expand home deliveries to get groceries to vulnerable people.

And Co-op has now followed suit, as it has announced it will be taking on 5,000 new staff to meet demand due to the coronavirus outbreak.

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