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. There are no limitations. As product availability has improved, we have now lifted the restriction of 3 items per customer.

Q. Are there any limitations on what I can buy online?
A. At the start of the lockdown, we introduced a limit of 80 items for online shopping baskets so we could reach more customers, with more deliveries.  As our online capacity continues to increase, we have now increased the online shopping basket limit to 85 items so customers can get more of what they need. 

Q. Do you have enough stock?
A. We have daily deliveries to replenish our stores and our stock levels have returned to their usual levels. We still encourage 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 large stores close at 10pm. This helps us to ensure our stores are clean, we can replenish stock, and allows our colleagues to rest.
Stores with online picking operations 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 placed around our stores for customers and colleagues to use, as well as extra cleaning products to wipe down your trolley or basket.
  • Floor markings in stores to help customers follow the latest safety advice on social distancing.
  • Protective screens at the checkouts
  • 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.

Q. Are you selling face coverings?
A. We are selling disposable face coverings which can be used in public environments where social distancing isn’t always possible, for example when travelling on public transport. 

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. 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 now doubled the number of Grocery Home Shopping slots available, from 600,000 before COVID-19 to a little over 1.2m at 4 May 2020. We will continue to increase the number of slots available going forward.
  • 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. What should someone do if they are an existing customer, can’t go to the shops, but not on the Government’s list? 
A. Customers can call our Customer Engagement Centre on 0800 917 7359. While we can’t guarantee a slot, we will do our best to prioritise these vulnerable customers as we expand our delivery capacity. 

We continue to encourage those who are able to safely come to stores to do so, to free up online delivery slots for those who are self-isolating or most in need. 

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. Is my Tesco café open?
A. In March, we took the decision to close all our cafes. Since then we have opened 20 Tesco cafés on a trial basis offering take-away only. Like our stores, our cafes will have measures in place to ensure customers and colleagues are able to maintain a safe distance and advanced hygiene measures. This is the first step in re-opening Tesco Cafés and we look forward to serving customers once again.

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 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
  • 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.