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How you can get food and essential supplies if you are shielding, self-isolating or a critical worker.

First published:
29 May 2020
Last updated:

Extremely vulnerable people

Everyone who has been identified as being at high risk of severe illness from coronavirus will receive a letter from the Chief Medical Officer for Wales. This is known as a ‘shielding letter’.

The Chief Medical Officer for Wales has advised that shielding should continue until the 16 August 2020. A letter is being sent to everyone in Wales who is shielding to tell them this and what to do next. All supermarkets who offer home delivery in Wales have been sent details of those who have received this letter. You can register for these home delivery services through the supermarkets' websites.

If a volunteer or carer is shopping for you, some supermarkets sell gift cards and vouchers that they can use to pay for your shopping.

The letter explains that you should contact your local authority to get essential supplies if friends or family cannot help.

People who are self-isolating

If you are self-isolating, but not shielding, you should ask friends, family or neighbours who are well to go out and get food and other essentials or use online services. If this is not possible, then the public sector, business, charities, and the general public are gearing up to help.

If you do not have any family or friends who can help you can get help from voluntary organisations in your area. They can advise on support available to help with such activities as food shopping.

If a volunteer or carer is shopping for you, some supermarkets sell gift cards and vouchers that they can use to pay for your shopping.

Supermarkets offering home delivery

Some local convenience stores and corner shops have also started to offer home delivery services. These are often advertised on social media or a local websites.

Supermarkets providing essential food boxes

Some shops can deliver boxes containing a selection of essential items.

Supermarket priority shopping times for vulnerable people

Supermarket

Who

When

Tesco (excluding Express)

Elderly and vulnerable

Monday, Wednesday and Friday from 9am to 10am

Sainsbury's

Elderly, disabled and vulnerable

Monday, Wednesday and Friday from 8am to 9am

Aldi

Elderly and vulnerable

Monday to Saturday, 30 minutes before opening

Co-op

High risk

Monday to Saturday from 8am to 9am, and Sunday from 10am to 11am

Waitrose

Elderly and vulnerable

Every day for the first hour of trading

Marks and Spencer

Elderly

Monday and Thursday for the first hour of trading

Iceland (Food Warehouse only)

Elderly

Every day from 8am to 9am

Payment options for shopping

If you are staying at home and someone is shopping for you, some supermarkets sell gift cards and vouchers that can be used to pay for shopping.

These can be purchased online by the person staying at home and used by the person who goes to the shop.

Tesco

  • Minimum to maximum value: £5 to £150
  • Helpline number: 0800 50 55 55
  • Card can be emailed to the purchaser or volunteer to then use in store.
  • This can be redeemed in store printed or on a phone screen. It cannot be spent online.
  • Cards cannot be topped up, but can be used until all the money on the card is spent.
  • Card balance can be checked by phoning 0345 0757757.

ASDA

  • Minimum to maximum value: £5 to £150
  • Helpline Number: 0800 5193333
  • Card can be emailed to the purchaser or volunteer to then use in store.
  • It can be topped up online.
  • Reloadable physical cards are also available which can be topped up online and sent by post to a person of choice.
  • This can be redeemed in store printed or on a phone screen.

Sainsbury's

  • Minimum to maximum value: £5 to £250
  • Helpline Number: 0371 2001597
  • Card can be emailed to the purchaser or volunteer to then use in store.
  • Gift cards cannot be sent by post.
  • You can view your balance online.
  • The purchaser will receive an email when the card is opened by email and each time it is accessed.
  • This can be redeemed in store printed or on a phone screen. The card cannot be used online.
  • There are certain products that cannot be purchased with a gift card, the only food item being infant formula.

Morrisons

  • Minimum to maximum value: £10 to £250
  • Helpline Number: 0344 3815042
  • Both physical and e-gift cards are available. Physical cards can be posted to the recipient or sent by email as an e-card.
  • They can be used in any Morrisons store, printed or on a phone screen. They cannot be used online.
  • The balance on the physical cards can be checked by calling a number on the back of the card and e-cards can be checked online.
  • Gift cards cannot be topped up.

Waitrose

  • Minimum to maximum value: £10 to £500
  • Helpline Number: 0333 0148444
  • Cards can be emailed to the purchaser or volunteer to use.
  • Cards can be used online or in store.

Marks and Spencer

  • Minimum to maximum value: £10 to £500
  • Helpline Number: 0333 0148444
  • Cards can be emailed to the purchaser or volunteer to use.
  • Can be used online or in store
  • Physical gift cards can also be purchased from Marks and Spencer, but these are not linked to the volunteer card scheme.

Co-op

  • Launched vulnerable shopper initiative for shielding or self-isolating
  • Call 0800 029 4592, a dedicated Co-op phoneline
  • Gift cards can be purchased and shared with volunteers.
  • Helpline can also point people in direction of local authority volunteer support schemes.

ALDI

  • Vouchers can be purchased online and posted to others to shop on their behalf.
  • Available in denominations of £5 and £10, no additional postage cost.
  • Customer service phone: 0800 042 0800
  • People can purchase a blue voucher (which excludes lottery purchases) or an orange voucher (which excludes alcohol and lottery purchases)
  • If purchase is less than cost of voucher then no change is given and amount not kept on voucher.

Supermarket priority shopping times for critical workers

Supermarket

Who

When

Tesco

NHS staff, care workers and other emergency services workers.

Tuesday and Thursday from 9am to 10am, and Sunday from 1 hour before shop opens

Sainsbury's

NHS and social care workers

Monday to Saturday from 7.30am to 8am

Morrisons NHS workers Monday to Saturday from 6am to 7am, and Sunday from  9am to 10am
ASDA NHS and care workers Monday, Wednesday and Friday from 8am to 9am, and Sunday from 9am to 10am (browsing)

Aldi

Emergency services workers, social care workers, first responders and St John Ambulance staff

Sunday from 30 minutes before opening

Co-op

NHS workers

Monday to Saturday from 8am to 9am, and Sunday from 10am to 11am

Waitrose

NHS workers

Priority access to shops and checkouts

Marks and Spencer

NHS, emergency services , health and social care workers

Tuesday and Friday for the first hour of trading

Iceland

NHS staff, healthcare and social care workers

Every day for the final hour

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