PLC | Covid-19


Updated 19/07/2021

Since the start of the pandemic, we have focused on ensuring everyone can get the food they need in a safe environment. Having listened to our customers and colleagues, we will continue to have safety measures in place in our stores as restrictions lift.

Food for all

  • During the pandemic, we changed opening hours for some stores so that we could 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, and we continue to offer priority slots for vulnerable customers.
  • We are offering a ‘quieter hour’ for those customers who prefer to shop at less busy times, you’ll find the opening hours for your local store on our website.

Safety for everyone

Customer and colleague safety will remain our absolute priority as we update the measures and restrictions we have in store.

  • We have a ‘one-in, one-out’ system in place and continue to limit the number of people in stores at any time. We have a traffic light system at store entrances in all our large stores and our busiest Express stores, which tells customers when they can safely enter.
  • There is signage in store to help everyone keep a safe distance. Where possible, we have created separate entrances and exits to our stores.
  • There are hand sanitiser stations around our stores for customers and colleagues to use, as well as extra cleaning products for customers to wipe down their trolley or basket.
  • We have protective screens at the front and the back, around every checkout, so that we can open all of them and reduce the time needed to queue.
  • To ensure our online deliveries continue to be 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).
In England, from 19 July 2021:
  • We are encouraging our colleagues to continue to wear face coverings at work, unless they cannot do so for medical or safety reasons.
  • We are also encouraging customers to wear a face covering when shopping with us.
In Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland:
  • Face coverings remain mandatory for customers and colleagues, unless exempt.

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 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.