PLC | Covid-19


Updated 25/06

Food for all

  • In the early phase of COVID-19, we introduced purchase limits of 3 items per customer. These restrictions have now been lifted.
  • To ensure our stores are clean, that we can replenish stock, and allow our colleagues to rest, we changed our trading hours with all stores closing at 10pm. In recent weeks, our Express and Metro stores have returned to usual opening times. Stores with an online grocery operation will open their doors a little later – from 8am, to help us pick more orders and increase capacity.
  • We have more than doubled the number of Grocery Home Shopping slots available, from 600,000 before COVID-19 to a little over 1.3m in June 2020. We will continue to increase the number of slots available going forward.
  • Ensuring we support our most vulnerable customers is our priority and we have made the following changes to prioritise these customers:
    • We have dedicated one hour every Monday, Wednesday and Friday morning between 9-10am for our elderly and vulnerable customers. This does not include Express stores. We ask that other customers give priority to our elderly and vulnerable customers at this time.
    • We want to help as many people as possible who truly need our delivery service, and so we are asking customers to please ‘think before you click’ and shop in store, if you can do so safely.
    • We are offering priority slots to the most vulnerable customers, including the list of clinically vulnerable people given to us by the Government. We’re also now actively working with Government to see how we can increase our capacity against an expanded list of people who may not be on their critical vulnerable list, but who may need our support.
  • We are so grateful to the NHS and all the key workers helping to keep us safe. As a thank you for all their hard work, we are making their shopping trip a little easier.
    • We invite all those in the NHS, emergency services and care workers to come straight to the front of the queue to enter our stores, helping them to shop more quickly, and at times which best fit around their vital work.
    • We’re really proud we were able to support the NHS with our temporary pop-up stores at the NEC and Excel Nightingale hospitals. These stores were always intended to be temporary and are thankfully no longer needed.
    • We continue with our special hours in stores for NHS staff as a thank you for all they are doing. The NHS hours are on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 9am -10am in all large stores. Also on Sundays, they can browse our large stores and select their shopping, an hour before the checkouts open.
  • We are also working closely with our supplier partners, to ensure our customers can get what they need, and to support our suppliers’ businesses. For example:
    • We are working with our potato supplier, Branston, to take potatoes that would have gone to McDonald’s and fish and chip shops. The potatoes will be used in our Perfectly Imperfect range, and include a message of support for British farmers.
    • We have worked with all of our toilet paper suppliers to simplify our range from 33 products down to 10.
    • We recognise this is a particularly challenging time for our smaller suppliers and have therefore shortened their payment terms from 14 days to 5 days. We expect this change to remain in place for three months.

Safety for everyone

  • We introduced social distancing measures in stores and we filmed a new ad with Tesco colleagues summarising them. The new measures include:
    • Floor markings in our car parks will help you to maintain safe distances when queuing.
    • Where necessary, we will limit the flow of people coming into our stores to ensure they don’t get too congested.
    • Hand sanitisers are being placed around our stores for customers and colleagues to use, as well as extra cleaning products to wipe down your trolley or basket.
    • In some stores, we will introduce directional floor markings and new signage, to create a safe flow around the store.
    • We have protective screens at our checkouts
    • Where possible, we will create separate entrances and exits to our stores, so that it’s easier to keep a safe distance from other shoppers.
  • As essential workers dealing with the general public, some of our colleagues also want to use masks and gloves. We’re providing these for colleagues, if they choose to use them, although this is still optional and the Public Health England advice is that they should not be mandatory.
  • We have strict hygiene routines in stores, with regular and thorough cleans every day.
  • We have good supplies of soap and have agreed with our cleaning colleagues to check this every hour, in addition to enhanced cleaning of any areas that see higher footfall.
  • We have temporarily withdrawn our Free Fruit for Kids to minimise the risk of cross contamination and help protect our customers.
  • We have introduced provisions to minimise close contact between distribution colleagues and supplier drivers and provided hand-washing facilities across all our distribution centres.
  • We are inviting customers that can, to pay at the checkout by card. This will make transactions swifter and help to reduce cash handling.
  • We ask our online customers to let us know if they are vulnerable or self-isolating in the delivery instructions section of their order. Our drivers will minimise contact with customers as much as possible, by delivering orders in bags to the front door but not entering the house.

Supporting our colleagues

  • At our peak, we recruited almost 50,000 new temporary colleagues to support our colleagues on the shop floor, in distribution centres and as delivery drivers. All colleagues who normally work in our cafes or on our meat, fish, deli counters and salad bars have been helping on the shop floor while these services were temporarily closed. We have also asked our office colleagues to volunteer for shifts in stores where they can.
  • Our colleagues that can work from home, are doing so. However, this is not an option for many of our colleagues and so we ask customers to be respectful and patient. Our colleagues are working round the clock and also naturally have worries about their own families.
  • The Government is extending the COVID-19 testing process to critical front-line workers, including those in Tesco. Testing will be entirely voluntary, and only for critical workers currently experiencing symptoms, or for those with symptoms who are living with critical workers.
  • As a thank you for going above and beyond, Tesco is paying a 10% bonus on the hourly rate for hours worked to colleagues across its stores, distribution centres and customer engagement centres.
  • Colleagues who are over 70, vulnerable or pregnant, were given 12-weeks paid leave immediately.
  • Colleagues who are self-isolating are being paid in full for the period of isolation
  • Colleagues who become ill with COVID-19 are being paid from the first day of absence, regardless of their sick entitlement or waiting days.
  • We have a range of policies in place to support parents during the school closures, including a new school closure leave policy.
  • We have made two mental wellbeing tools, Headspace and SilverCloud, available to all our 300,000 UK colleagues free for the next 12 months.
  • We always encourage any colleague who needs help to ask for it. Our line managers are receiving regular updates to ensure they have all the latest information and resources available.

Supporting our communities

  • We are proud to be the retail partner for, a charity that is giving 1 million meals to front-line NHS workers. Tesco is donating all the food and ingredients for the meals.
  • Some of the community organisations that we work with are really under pressure at the moment, and so we have tried to identify the best ways to help and announced a £30 million package of support
    • We donate £3million of food every month, through our Community Food Connection scheme and distribution centres. On top of that, we will now provide £15million of food (ambient and fresh) to FareShare and the Trussell Trust over the next 12 weeks – food they need for distribution to community groups and food banks. In addition, we’ll donate £1m between the two organisations to support their continuing operations
    • We will focus £2m of funding from our Bags of Help community donation scheme to charities that are helping the most vulnerable
    • Building on our existing partnership with the British Red Cross, we are donating £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