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Lidl and Tesco to implement priority shopping for elderly people and home carers

Priority shopping will be in place across Lidl’s 163 stores in Ireland between 9am and 11am every day until further notice.

Image: Sam Boal

Updated Mar 16th 2020, 10:55 PM

SUPERMARKET CHAINS LIDL and Tesco will be implementing priority shopping hours for elderly people, over 65s and family carers. 

From tomorrow, priority shopping will be in place across Lidl’s 163 stores in Ireland between 9am an 11am every day until further notice. 

In a statement this afternoon, the retailer said: “We ask that the public respect this time period to allow more vulnerable customers to pick up the food and supplies they need.

“Starting March 17, the mornings will run from 9-11am every day and will include prioritised queuing and additional assistance for our older customers.”

Lidl added that it “may not be able to actively monitor this at all times as our store teams are required on checkouts and restocking shelves, so we kindly ask that customers respect this measure and plan their shopping trips around this timeframe.”

Tesco, meanwhile, announced that every Monday, Wednesday and Friday from 18 March, people over 65 and home carers will have dedicated access to its 151 stores in Ireland from between 7am/8am (depending on location) until 9am. 

“We recognise that people over 65 and family carers who are looking after vulnerable family members at home, have specific needs during this time,” Kari Daniels, Chief Execuive Tesco Ireland said today.

“In liaison with the HSE and following discussions with Age Action Ireland and Family Carers Ireland, together we agreed that this is the right thing to do, at this time.”

In a statement this evening trade union Mandate raised concerns that some retailers are failing to adhere to HSE guidlines regarding Covid-19.

Mandate Assistant General Secretary Gerry Light said dozens of members had raised concerns for their safety and the potential to spread the virus.

He said that while some outlets may be attempting to abide by HSE guidelines, there was an “uneven” approach across the industry.

The union has written to all major retail outlets citing concerns about customer overcrowding “…contrary to HSE Covid-19 guidelines”, which preclude indoor mass gatherings of more than 100 people.

He also raises issues around alleged non-compliance on social distancing, non-provision of hand sanitiser at checkouts as well as shopping trolleys and tills not being properly and regularly sanitised. 

Earlier today

As the country works to curb the spread of coronavirus, a number of initiatives have been announced by the government and businesses nationwide. 

Earlier today, the government announced it was establishing a Pandemic Unemployment Payment to help people who have lost work because of the coronavirus outbreak.  

The payment of €203 per week will be available, for a six-week period, to all employees and the self-employed who have been affected by the seizing up of economic activity. 

Yesterday, Health Minister Simon Harris advised that all pubs should close until at least 29 March. Publican groups have said their members should follow the advice. 

The Cabinet sub-committee on Covid-19 is meeting this afternoon with an update from the Department of Health on the latest coronavirus figures in Ireland expected later today.

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