Supermarkets including Tesco and Asda insist delivery slots are still available despite second wave panic buying fears

SUPERMARKETS are reassuring customers that there are plenty of available delivery slots amid fears of tighter lockdown restrictions.

It comes after reports over the weekend that retailers were running out, sparking stockpiling fears.

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But The Sun checked postcodes in Leeds, London, Liverpool and Bristol and found that there were slots available for next week at Asda, Morrisons, Tesco, Sainsbury's, Iceland and Ocado.

Some customers have tweeted images of empty supermarket shelves but retailers have been quick to point out that this is common at the end of a weekend as stores don't typically get new deliveries until Monday.

The Prime Minister is expected to address the nation this week, possibly on Tuesday, to announce stricter lockdown rules.

But retailers have promised that getting hold of groceries won't be as hard as it was last time the UK was put into a state of shut down.

In March, panic buyers stripped shelves of toilet rolls, pasta, eggs and flour and struggled to book delivery slots for online shopping.

Since then, supermarkets have come up with measures that can be put in place to ensure customers aren't able to stockpile and dramatically increased the number of available delivery slots.

Asda has doubled its delivery capacity from 450,000 a week in March to over 700,000 now, with vulnerable shoppers getting access to priority slots.

Tesco now has 1.5million delivery slots a week compared to 600,000 before lockdown, while Morrisons has five times as many slots as before.

Sainsbury's has also doubled it's delivery capacity from 340,000 a week in March to 660,000 and Iceland now offers up to 750,000 slots a week.

Ocado, which struggled to keep up with demand in the first month of lockdown, has also reassured customers that it's businesses as normal.

Last time, supermarkets rationed some items for the first time since World War II but all of them have told The Sun that so far there has been no need to reintroduce any restrictions.

Retailers haven't seen an increase in demand for groceries yet either or experienced any shortages in the supply chain.

Supermarket home deliveries

HERE’S what other supermarkets charge for their home delivery services.

  • Asda delivery charges range between £3 and £5.50. There's a £40 minimum spend on home delivery orders and a £25 minimum spend for click and collect.
  • Iceland offers free home delivery, but you have to spend a minimum of £35 to place an order.
  • Morrisons delivery slots cost between £1.70 and £6.90. There's a £40 minimum spend on home deliveries.
  • Waitrose doesn't charge for delivery, but you need to spend a minimum of £60.
  • Sainsbury's charges between 50p and £7 for delivery. There's a £25 minimum spend.

But the systems it used before could be brought in again to stop panic buying getting out of hand.

Limits on the number of shoppers allowed in at the same time are still in place in line with the government's Covid-19 secure guidance, but as more people can access home delivery, there is less of the need to queue to get in.

Many still have social distancing markers on the floor and perspex screens set up between customers and checkout staff.

Andrew Opie, from the British Retail Consortium, said: "Retailers have done an excellent job in ensuring customers have access to the food and necessities throughout this pandemic.

"Supermarkets have put in place a range of safety measures to protect staff and customers.

"In the event of future lockdowns we urge consumers to be considerate and shop for food as they would usually during this difficult time."

Customers must wear a face mask when they go inside a shop or risk being fined £100.

It is also a legal requirement to cover your nose and mouth when on public transport.

People with breathing difficulties or with young children will not have to wear masks.



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