The daily updates on the coronavirus pandemic have prompted many individuals to panic-buy food and household supplies, despite retailers discouraging them from doing so.
Stockpiling may prevent vulnerable members of society, such as the elderly, people with disabilities and those with health conditions, from buying items they need.
With that in mind, several supermarkets have been introducing shopping hours specifically for the elderly, so they don’t have to worry about products being sold out by the time they enter the store.
On Monday 16 March, Lidl Ireland shared a tweet outlining how it’s new dedicated shopping hour for the elderly will work.
“We’ve been listening to your feedback and we will be implementing priority shopping hours for the elderly across all 163 Lidl stores in Ireland, 9-11am every day, until further notice,” the tweet read.
Tesco Ireland has also followed suit, stating that it is encouraging the elderly and their carers to shop at its stores on specific days of the week.
“This is a time for help. And at Tesco, thousands of our colleagues are working hard to help make sure that our communities have everything they need,” the company’s statement read.
“From Wednesday March 18th, we will introduce dedicated time-in-store for over 65s and family carers.
“Monday, Wednesday and Friday mornings up to 9am will now be a dedicated time for our senior citizens and family carers to have more space and a helping hand where needed.”
The store, which is located at The Kennedy Centre in Belfast, Northern Ireland, stated that it is welcoming the elderly to shop at the supermarket from 8am to 9am in the morning.
“Iceland Foods at Kennedy Centre will be opening their store between 8-9am for the elderly commencing Tuesday 17th March,” the statement read.
“Could the wider public please respect this hour, and understand that this time is allocated for elderly people only. Iceland appeal to people’s better nature when realising who needs priority.”
When asked by The Independent whether the early hour for the elderly will be rolled out across more stores, a spokesperson for the supermarket said it is currently allowing its stores to make their own decisions on how best to serve their local communities.
If you have any coronavirus symptoms or have recently travelled to an affected area, contact the NHS helpline on 111 and do not visit your GP or hospital.
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