PLC | Covid-19

Frequently asked questions

Q. People are not allowed to leave their home – are your shops still open?
A. Yes, the guidance from Government is that people will only be allowed to leave their home for limited purposes but this includes shopping for necessities such as food and pharmacy products.

Q. Are there any limitations on what I can buy in store?
A. Yes, we have put limitations in place, to ensure that more people have access to essential groceries – we are operating a restriction of 3 items per customer on every product line and we have removed multi-buys and some other promotions at the moment, such as buy one get one free to help ensure all customers get access to what they need.

Q. Do you have enough stock?
A. We have daily deliveries to replenish our stores and our stock levels are improving every day. We would ask customers to buy only what they need, to help ensure there is enough for everyone.

Q. Have your store opening hours changed?
A. Yes, all our stores now close at 10pm. This helps us to ensure our stores are clean, we can replenish stock, and allows our colleagues to rest.

Some of our larger stores will now open at 8am so that we can prioritise online deliveries for those that need it most.
You can check the opening hours for any store on our store locator

Q. What are you doing to ensure your stores are clean?
A. We are doing everything possible to reduce the risk of infection, for our customers and colleagues. We have social distancing measures in place that can be viewed in our advert.
Some measures you will see in store, include:

  • Strict hygiene routines in stores, with regular and thorough cleans every day.
  • 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.
  • Inviting customers to pay by card, when they can. We continue to accept cash where paying by card is not possible or convenient.
  • Floor markings in stores to help customers follow the latest safety advice on social distancing.
  • 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.
  • Protective screens at the checkouts

Q. What are you doing to support more vulnerable customers?
A. In large stores (Extras, Superstores and Metros), we have dedicated hours for vulnerable and elderly customers, and we are asking all other customers to please not visit our stores at these times. These are on Monday, Wednesday and Friday mornings between 9am and 10am.
We are encouraging other customers to shop in store rather than online where possible, to help free up online slots.

Q. What about customers buying on behalf of vulnerable customers?
A. We understand that many people will be restricted as to when they can do their shop. All we ask is that customers are mindful of those more vulnerable and give them the time and space to have an easier shopping experience. In addition, colleagues are always on hand to provide support to any customers who need help.

Q. Your dedicated hours for NHS and the elderly and vulnerable look very busy?
A. The priority shopping hours for NHS workers as well as the elderly and vulnerable are one of the ways we’re trying to help these customers get access to the things they need. We are trying hard to do the right thing and while feedback has been positive, we also recognise that many stores were still very busy.
We’re going to take learnings onboard and continue to offer these priority shopping times to those that need it. We would ask for our customers’ support to help us by not shopping during these dedicated hours.

Q. Should I do anything differently to support more vulnerable customers?
A. Thank you for asking. We would really appreciate it if you could help by doing the following:

  • Buy only what you need, so that more people have access to essential groceries.
  • If it’s possible for you to shop in store, rather than online, please do so. This helps to free up online slots for the more vulnerable customers.
  • In our large stores (Extras, Superstores and Metros), we have dedicated hours for our vulnerable and elderly customers, and for NHS workers and Tesco colleagues, who might otherwise find it difficult to do their shopping. We would ask all other customers to please not visit our stores at these times:
    • Monday, Wednesday and Friday mornings, 9 -10am, for vulnerable and elderly customers
    • Sunday mornings one hour before store opening, for NHS workers and Tesco colleagues

Q. What about online deliveries?
A. There is a high demand for online deliveries as you’d expect and we are working at full capacity.

  • We have expanded our Home Delivery and Click & Collect capacity from 660,000 slots to around 780,000 delivery slots, and plan to increase this by another 100,000 in the coming weeks.
  • To help us pick more orders, stores with an online grocery operation will open their doors a little later – from 8am.
  • The Government has asked our industry to help people that they have identified as particularly vulnerable and who don’t have their own support network. We have committed to prioritise over 100,000 orders each week for this group and will be in touch with them by email.

Q. How long will these changes remain in place?
A. There is no set timeframe. We are monitoring the situation closely and doing whatever we can to make things easier for our customers. We will continue to update our FAQs to give all our customers the latest information.

Q. What are you doing to support your colleagues?
A. Our colleagues are working extremely hard in a challenging environment and we are doing everything we can to support them and to thank them for all that they are doing, some of the actions we are taking can be seen below. If you do go into a store and want to say thank you, then they would very much appreciate it.

  • As a thank you for going above and beyond, Tesco will pay 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, will not be required to attend work for the next 12 weeks. This absence from work will be fully paid, with two of the 12 weeks coded as holiday.
  • Colleagues who are self-isolating will be paid in full for the period of isolation.
  • Colleagues who become ill with COVID-19 will be 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 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.
  • 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.

Q. What are you doing to protect colleagues from abuse?
A. Our colleagues are doing a fantastic job and working hard to help customers and keep our stores stocked during an extremely busy time. Tesco store colleagues can't work from home and many of them will need to respond to personal or family challenges connected with dealing with COVID-19. So we would please ask that you understand the challenging environment in which we are all working.

Our customers have been appreciative and understanding of the great work our colleagues are doing. Sadly, there has been a small number of incidents where colleagues have been subject to abuse whilst doing their jobs and this is unacceptable. We ask that everyone is respectful to our colleagues. We do not tolerate any kind of abusive behaviour and will take action if anyone is found acting in this way.

Q. What are you doing to support your suppliers?
A. We continue to work through our response to the COVID-19 outbreak and 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 have therefore shortened their payment terms from 14 days to 5 days. We expect this change to remain in place for three months.