Do you have a cap on any products?

We are holding good stock levels in all key product areas and we would like to reassure customers that there is no need to worry about buying more than they require. To ensure that customers can get what they need, we've set a purchase limit of two packs on toilet rolls and flour for purchases online and in our shops.

Are your shops open as normal?

Yes, Waitrose shops are open as usual. However, we have put in place some additional measures to help our shops meet the needs of our customers, particularly the elderly and vulnerable, at this time.

On Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays the first opening hour in our supermarkets will be prioritised for our elderly and vulnerable shoppers. In addition, to help us keep our shelves stocked and our Partners and customers safe, some shops may have slightly different opening hours than normal. This will vary in different parts of the country, from shop to shop.

What social distancing measures are you putting into your shops for your customers and Partners?

We have a number of measures to help protect both our customers and our Partners.

These are:

Dedicated marshals per store to help manage queues, reminding customers to keep a safe distance. 

Introduced floor signage in all shops to ensure customers keep a safe distance apart when queuing at checkouts and at welcome desks.

Hand sanitiser stations at the entrances of all Waitrose shops.

Screens have been placed at the checkouts to protect customers and Partners. 

We are encouraging our customers to shop in a cashless and contactless way to prevent unnecessary contact.

Are you asking customers to wear face masks when they are shopping?

In line with the new Government rule, we’re asking customers to wear a face covering while shopping with us. All customers apart from children under 11 (in our Scottish shops this is under the age of five), and those with certain health conditions who are exempt, should wear a face mask, scarf or other face covering. Please remember that not all disabilities are visible, so please be understanding of other shoppers who may not be able to follow this rule.

Are your cafés reopening?

While the majority of our cafés remain closed, we have started to open some on a trial basis and will reopen more once we are satisfied that they are safe for our Partners and customers.

Are you stopping any of your services as a result of coronavirus?

We have taken the decision to temporarily suspend some of our hospitality services. We are very sorry for the inconvenience this may cause. 

As such, the following remain temporarily closed:

  • Self-serve coffee machines
  • Cafés in some of our shops (please see above for further information)
  • Bakery grazing areas, wine bars, and the Steak & Oyster Bar at Canary Wharf

How are you supporting your Partners?

We have robust hygiene procedures in place and are providing regular updates to our Partners to ensure they have appropriate advice. All equipment in store, such as self-service scanners, payment terminal, trolley handles and tills are cleaned daily and at every available opportunity. Hand sanitising wipes have also been provided for our Partners who do not always have easy access to hand-washing facilities, including our checkout and welcome desk staff as well as delivery drivers. We also have protective screens at checkouts.

What are you doing to support the elderly, vulnerable and NHS workers?

At the start of lockdown, when some products were in high demand and shops were busy, we dedicated an hour at the start of each day for our elderly and vulnerable customers to do their shopping. Now our shops are less busy, and we have implemented measures such as social distancing, protective screens and face coverings to keep customers as safe as they can be. However, we know that our elderly and vulnerable customers have really appreciated this dedicated shopping time, so the first shopping hour on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays will continue to be reserved for them.

After the first hour of trading on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays, and at all other times, we’re giving NHS staff and social care workers (carers) priority access to our shops and checkouts on production of suitable ID. This is to ensure they are able to get through as quickly and easily as possible.   

We've also prioritised vulnerable customers wherever possible with online shopping slots throughout the pandemic. While delivery slots remain in high demand, we have more than trebled slots to more than 190,000 each week.  

We also have a dedicated e-gift card for customers who are unable to get to the shops themselves, and want to organise a simple, safe and contact-free payment for groceries delivered by friends, neighbours, family members or volunteers. The gift card can be purchased online at, and can then be emailed directly to friends, neighbours, family members or volunteers for them to use in our shops. Customers can purchase e-gift cards in £10 denominations up to £500.


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