At the start of the pandemic, shopping has never really gone back to normal.
A number of measures have been put in place by the Government in order to prevent the spread of the coronavirus across the country and to stop potential outbreaks.
At the end of July, the Government made it compulsory to wear facemasks in retail outlets, including supermarkets, to prevent the spread and now the Rule of Six has been introduced this week.
But the question is – does this affect my shopping even more than it should? And should I be aware of any changes that have taken place?
Well, our colleagues over at EssexLive have complied a useful article that you can read to make sure you don’t get confused about the new rules and changes.
Will I have to queue to go shopping?
The rule has people asking “Will I have to start queuing to get in the supermarkets again?”
With the cooler weather set to arrive soon, the idea of standing outside in the wind and rain is not appealing.
The simple answer to this is no.
Despite social gatherings being limited, rules in the shops remain the same.
It is still a legal requirement to wear a face-covering in shops (unless you are exempt) and social distancing guidelines remain at one metre.
This means that shops don’t have to reduce the number of customers in-store, so shopping should stay the same.
You won’t however be able to shop in groups larger than six.
A spokesperson from the British Retail Consortium – which represents supermarkets – told The Mirror : “New Government restrictions on group sizes will not affect the current shopping experience.
“Since the pandemic began, retailers have invested millions in social distancing measures to make stores safe for customers.”
What are the rules in supermarkets?
The main rule for shopping is that you need to wear a face covering, such as a mask or a shield.
Most supermarkets still have guidance in place for customers to keep safe.
Despite government advice, Asda says they are still encouraging customers to have two meters between each other.
An Asda spokesperson said: “Throughout the pandemic, our customers have embraced many new rules to help keep everyone safe in our stores, and we are confident they will continue to show care and consideration for each other by wearing a face covering when they visit our stores.
“We also have signs at the entrance to the store and on the shelf edges to encourage customers to wear a face covering and are using Asda FM (our in-store radio) to further remind customers.
“While we will do all we can to strongly encourage customers to respect the new guidelines, the responsibility for policing and enforcing them does lie with the relevant authorities.”
In Tesco, customers are reminded about the face-covering rules.
Anyone who forgets one is able to buy one at the entrance to stores.
At Aldi, a spokesperson said: “Customers are encouraged to comply with the Government guidelines on face coverings but, like other retailers, our colleagues are not able to enforce these rules.”
Sainsbury’s also says that they will not challenge customers not coving their faces as they know that some people are not able to.
However, Morrisons will be handing out free ones to shoppers who forget.
Iceland has asked customers to wear one if they can, but will not instruct staff to ‘police’ the rule.
A spokesman said: “We welcome the additional measures brought in by the Government and will be supporting mandatory face coverings in our stores in England, whilst observing the exemptions outlined in the latest guidance.
“However, we will not put our staff at risk by asking them to police this.”