Shopping: How many people can go shopping? Can two people go out shopping?

Under the Government’s new social distancing measures to tackle coronavirus, people are being told to stay at least two metres apart at all times. People are only allowed to leave their homes in certain circumstances, such as shopping for essential items like food and medicine. Gatherings of more than two people in public will be dispersed unless they live in the same household.

How many people can go shopping?

Presently the Government is advising people to use food delivery services, rather than leave their homes to purchase food.

If this isn’t possible you are allowed to leave your home to buy essential items, but you must limit the number of these visits.

How many people are allowed in a supermarket will depend on the measures implemented in your local store.



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Many supermarkets have issued restrictions on how many people can enter a store at any one time.

This is in line with Government social distancing rules, where gatherings of more than two people are no longer allowed.

People are being asked to queue outside while they wait, adhering to social distancing measures and keeping at least two metres apart.

In some stores, people must enter the store alone, without other people with them.

What other rules are there in supermarkets?

It is really important while in supermarkets that you adhere to social distancing measures.

While collecting your essential items, keep your distance from other shoppers and be considerate of other people.

While queuing to use the till many stores have introduced signage to make sure people stand at least two metres apart.


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A number of stores across the UK have also implemented screens at the checkout to help protect staff.

Staff members may also be wearing gloves to help prevent the spread of the virus.

In an email to Asda customers, CEO Roger Burnley has asked customers only to touch items they intend on buying.

Some stores recommend not using cash at the moment, and instead, ask you to use self-service till points if you wish to do so.

Across the UK some stores are also operating on reduced opening hours, so it’s a good idea to check in advance before you set out.

A number of measures have also been implemented to prevent panic-buying over the coming weeks.

In recent weeks essential items such as eggs, pasta and cleaning products have been in short supply due to stockpiling.

Supermarkets have implemented limits on some of these essential items, and specific rules will differ depending on your local store.

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