PLC | Covid-19


Updated 09/04/2021

Food for all

  • We have good stock levels, and would encourage customers to shop as they normally would.
  • We have changed opening hours for some stores so that we can serve customers better at this time. You'll find the opening hours for your local store on our website.
  • We have more than doubled the number of Grocery Home Shopping slots available since the start of the pandemic, with 1.5 million delivery and Click+Collect slots available each week.
  • At the start of the pandemic we introduced priority hours for elderly and vulnerable customers to help them. These hours are still running on Wednesdays and Sundays from 9am-10am. 
  • We have more than 850,000 vulnerable customers registered with us who are eligible for priority access to online slots.
  • To support vulnerable customers, we’re asking customers to:
    • Buy only what you need, so that everyone has access to essential groceries.
    • If it’s possible for you to shop safely in-store, rather than online, please do so, as this helps to free up online slots for customers.
  • NHS, emergency service and other healthcare workers are invited to come straight to the front of the queue with their valid ID. 
  • We are committed to working together with our suppliers to serve our customers. We recognise this is a particularly challenging time for our smaller suppliers and so we introduced improved payment terms to pay our smallest suppliers immediately.

Safety for everyone

  • To protect our customers and colleagues, we won’t let anyone into our stores who is not wearing a face covering, unless they are exempt in line with Government guidance. If you forget to bring one, we have packs available to buy at the front of our stores, which you can open immediately and pay for with your shopping later.
  • Where necessary, we are limiting the flow of people coming into our stores to ensure they don’t get too congested.
    • We’ve introduced a traffic light system in some of our stores, to help manage the number of people in store at any one time. If the number of customers exceeds the maximum allowed, a red light will show. Once it’s safe for a customer to enter, the light will turn green.
    •  To help us manage the number of people in stores, we are asking customers to shop alone, unless they’re a carer or with children.
  • In line with guidance, we have social distancing measures in stores, including:
    • Floor markings in our car parks to help you to maintain safe distances when queuing.
    • Hand sanitisers are placed around our stores for customers and colleagues to use, as well as extra cleaning products to wipe down your trolley or basket.
    • We have protective screens at our checkouts.
    • Where possible, we have created separate entrances and exits to our stores, so that it’s easier to keep a safe distance from other shoppers.
    • We are inviting customers that can to pay at the checkout by card. This will make transactions swifter and help to reduce cash handling.
  • To ensure our online deliveries are as safe as possible:
    • We provide our drivers with disposable gloves, alcohol-based hand gel and wipes, face coverings and cleaning equipment. 
    • If customers are self-isolating, they should tell our drivers in advance (using the delivery notes). We will pack food into plastic bags and drivers will leave groceries for them.
    • Delivery Drivers are required to wear a face covering when delivering to the doorstep and if they are entering customers’ homes.

Supporting our colleagues

  • Colleagues who become ill with COVID-19 or need to self-isolate are paid from the first day of absence.
  • In August 2020, we announced the creation of 16,000 new permanent roles to support the growth in online shopping.
  • During the first wave of the pandemic last year, we hired nearly 50,000 temporary colleagues to help serve customers when demand was at its highest. Over Christmas, we recruited more than 11,000 temporary colleagues to help stores during the busy festive period.
  • We have made two mental wellbeing tools, Headspace and SilverCloud, available to all our 300,000 UK colleagues free for a year.
  • We always encourage any colleague who needs help to ask for it. Our line managers receive regular updates to ensure they have all the latest information and resources available.

Supporting our communities

  • In 2020, we donated over £60m worth of meals to foodbanks and charities supporting those in need in our communities and supporting our partners FareShare and the Trussell Trust.
  • Tesco customers generously donated a further 1.3 million meals last year, through our two Food Collections. Tesco topped up all customer donations to the collections by 20%.
  • Through our Bags of Help community grants programme, we’ve donated £8m to more than 8,000 local groups supporting communities affected by COVID-19.
  • Building on our existing partnership with the British Red Cross, we have donated £2m to help them with the extra costs they face in supporting people in need.
  • Our stores have access to over £1m of funding so they can support causes in their local neighbourhood.
  • We are proud to be the retail partner for, a charity that has successfully delivered 1 million meals to front-line NHS workers. Tesco donated all the food and ingredients for the meals.