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 dedicated to 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 are introducing a number of measures to help protect both our customers and our Partners.

These are:

Limiting the number of customers in our shops at any one time. In line with the Government’s guidance on social distancing, we’re asking customers to help us manage the number of people in our shops by sending only one member of the household to do their shopping if they possibly can. While this won’t be possible for everybody, we are very grateful for our customers’ support during this time of uncertainty.

Dedicated marshals per store to help manage queues, reminding customers of the two-metre social distancing rule. 

Introducing floor signage in all shops to ensure customers keep two metres 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. 

Partners will have the option to wear a protective visor, if they wish.

We are asking that only one customer or family occupy a lift at any one time.

We will encourage 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?

From Friday 24 July 2020, 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. As of 8 July 2020, we have reopened cafés at Portishead and Bracknell, which are currently takeaway only. In addition, we have opened cafés at our Swindon, Admiral park and Rohais (both in Guernsey) and Red Houses (Jersey) branches – all of which will be a mix of takeaway and seated.

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. The reason for the suspension is so our Partners who maintain the services can continue to keep the shelves stocked with essential products.

As such, the following remain temporarily closed:

  • Self-serve coffee machines
  • Cafés in the majority of our shops (please see above for further information)
  • Cookery schools
  • Bakery grazing areas, wine bars, and the Steak & Oyster Bar at Canary Wharf
  • Hot Food to Go and Made in Branch Baguettes

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 and visors and face masks are available for Partners' use.

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 from Friday 24 July 2020 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 have already prioritised delivery slots for vulnerable customers across the country and those over the age of 70. We are continuing to contact customers on the lists which the Governments have shared with us.

Do you have a cap on any products?

We have lifted the buying limits on the majority of products in our shops. 

If you are shopping on waitrose.com, our temporary cap measures are still in place on a small number of products to ensure more of our customers have access to the products they want. 

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