Supermarket giant, Tesco, has introduced six new measures in its stores this week, as the coronavirus pandemic continues.
The new changes are in addition to prior measures introduced by Tesco since the start of the national lockdown.
Announcing the changes in an email to its customers, CEO Dave Lewis said that while the changes may have been rolled out in certain branches, they will now be standardised across all Tesco stores.
Describing the pandemic as “difficult for everyone” he announced that there were six new changes to be introduced, including lifting buying restrictions, adding one-way aisles and increasing contactless payment limits.
Shoppers will now have to abide by a one-way system while browsing aisles, as well as a 'one-in, one-out' system when entering the stores.
Purchasing restrictions lifted
Following other major supermarkets - such as Aldi, Morrisons and Waitrose - Tesco is now relaxing its purchasing restrictions as stock levels return to normal.However, restrictions will continue to remain on essential items which were in high demand when panic buying swept the UK, including hand sanitisers, toilet roll, and pasta.
Longer opening hours
Tesco is asking customers to visit their local stores at their quietest times, to reduce the queuing times and make for safer more efficient shopping.
In his email Mr Lewis wrote, "We’ve maintained longer opening hours to minimise potential queuing. Do ask your local store team for the quiet times."
The quietest times will vary from store to store, but for many this period tends to be in the final opening hour.
The supermarket chain has also installed protective perspex screens at the back of every manned till at checkouts, in addition to the front facing screens which were already in place.
This will allow for each checkout to be manned by staff members, rather than every other one.
Tesco hopes this will decrease queue times and subsequently the amount of time people in line are exposed to other shoppers.
Increase to contactless payments with Tesco Pay+
Last month (March 24) UK Finance announced an increase to the contactless payment limit maximum - rising from £30 to £45 per transaction - which was rolled out at the start of April.
In addition to this, Tesco Bank has increased the contactless payment limit on the free Tesco Pay+ app to £250, which customers can use with one scan of their phones at checkouts.
Additional online delivery slots
Last week the Government provided Tesco with a list of 110,000 clinically vulnerable and isolated people in the UK. This saw Tesco identify 75,000 existing customers as vulnerable and isolated.
These elderly and vulnerable customers will be prioritised with home delivery slots made specifically for them, while Tesco’s overall home delivery capacity has been increased.
According to Essential Retail the online store’s weekly home delivery slots rose from 660,000 to 780,000 within a fortnight, and it has pledged to increase this by another 100,000 slots within a matter of weeks.