Published On: Tue, Jan 12th, 2021

How to shop if you are a vulnerable person

The pandemic first began in March 2020 and supermarkets have seen a massive increase in their online order capacity in that time. Several safety measures have been implemented in food retailers in a bid to keep staff, customers and their families safe. But how can you shop if you are a vulnerable person?

Supermarket chains Tesco, Asda and Waitrose have become the latest to announce plans to deny entry to shoppers who wear face masks unless they are medically exempt.

The move came after Morrisons and Sainsburys declared it would implement such measures.

Retailers have been criticised for not enforcing people breaching Covid rules as the rate of infections across the country continues to rise.

The outlets will deny entry to anyone without a valid reason not to wear a mask.

READ MORE: Royal Mail chaos ‘putting Covid vaccination programme at risk’

You can also use a volunteer shopping card which enables friends, family or neighbours to shop on your behalf.

If you are unable to repay them for your groceries via a bank transfer or cash, you can buy a volunteer shopping card which they can pay with.

NHS Volunteer Responders are also on hand to help people who need essentials or prescriptions delivered to their homes.

Many local shops in your area have also launched delivery services to help those unable to leave their homes to buy essentials.

You may also be able to seek more direct help from your local community.

You can find out what help is available from Facebook, WhatsApp groups or searching for your local Mutual Aid group.

The neighbourhood hub Nextdoor is being used in a similar way, too, with users reaching out to offer help with shopping or even supporting those in self-isolation.

READ MORE: Asda, Sainsbury’s and Morrisons share updates on delivery slots

For those unable to use any of these methods, the following guidance has been issued to help protect vulnerable shoppers:

  • Practice social distancing when outdoors with anyone outside of your household
  • Wash your hands on your return home for 20 seconds and avoid touching your face while shopping
  • Make your trips as infrequent as possible
  • Try to rely on family, friends and neighbours to pick up supplies for you
  • Always wear a face-covering inside shops.

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