Shops open for the elderly: check supermarket opening times for the over 70s and vulnerable people

These are the shops open for the elderly, vulnerable and NHS workers – daily updates on supermarket opening times

elderly person shopping
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Wondering which shops are open for the elderly, vulnerable and NHS workers? A couple of major supermarket chains have promised specific opening hours reserved for the elderly, along with NHS workers, so they might be able to source their shopping without having to stand in long queues, or face empty shelves. And this is a great option given the long wait times for food delivery services.

We'll be updating this page daily to bring you information on which shops are open for the elderly, and when, so you can ensure your friends and family who need to are able to access food as safely as possible.

For more advice and information, as well as recipe ideas, head over to our food hub.

Shops open for the elderly

As mentioned above, we'll be updating this section daily in a bid to bring you the latest information on when shops are opening for the elderly, as well as NHS workers.

Asda: While there are no hours dedicated to the elderly, Asda have committed to supporting the vital work of the NHS by prioritising NHS workers in larger stores every Monday, Wednesday and Friday from 8am to 9am.

It's also worth noting that Asda seem to be coping with demands for online shopping better than any other retailer, so it's worth looking into an online order from the supermarket if you, or a relative, fall into the elderly or vulnerable category.

Tesco: All Tesco stores (except Express stores) will be prioritising the elderly and most vulnerable for one hour between 9am and 10am every Monday, Wednesday and Friday.

Sainsbury's: Every Monday, Wednesday and Friday, all Sainsbury's supermarkets will dedicate 08.00 to 09.00 to serving elderly customers, disabled customers and their carers.

NHS and social care workers will also be able to enter supermarkets for half an hour before they open, from Monday to Saturday. This means that anyone with NHS ID will be able to shop from 07.30 to 08.00.

It's also worth noting that Sainsbury's are working to prioritise online delivery for their most vulnerable existing customers. So, if you think you fall into this group, it may be worth reading a little more about the policy so that you can potentially get a delivery slot and avoid having to leave the house altogether. Nice work, Sainsbury's.

Waitrose: Waitrose have also introduced measures to support the elderly and are offering a dedicated shopping hour during the first opening hour of each of their supermarkets for the elderly and those that care for them.

They're also working with Age UK, FareShare, and the Trussell Trust to and have pledged to donate £75,000 initially to each of the three charities for immediate activity in response to the coronavirus outbreak.

For NHS staff, Waitrose have committed to setting aside a proportion of hard-to-find and essential products exclusively for NHS staff, on production of an NHS card. 

M&S: The first hour of opening at every M&S store is dedicated exclusively to the elderly on Mondays and Fridays. For NHS workers this is on Tuesdays and Thursdays.

Aldi: At this time, Aldi are not offering specific hours for the elderly, or NHS workers.

Lidl: At this time, Lidl are not offering specific hours for the elderly, or NHS workers.

And if you don't want to leave the house at all, we've found that the following food delivery services are still accepting new customers:

  • Mindful Chef – receive healthy (and delicious) food deliveries to your front door
  • Allplants – perfect for veggies and vegans, these meals are 100% plant-based
  • Pasta Evangelists – sing sweet praises to pasta
  • Balancebox – these boxes provide breakfast, lunch, dinner and snacks to your door
  • Kurami – delicious and nutritious meal plans