Morrisons cashiers have been forced to work behind plastic shields as crowds of shoppers queued outside supermarkets up and down the UK, including Sainsbury’s, Tesco and Asda, on the first day of a country-wide lockdown.
Shoppers across the country waited in line outside stores today after Boris Johnson last night asked people to only shop for essential items.
So far in the UK there have been 335 deaths from the coronavirus and 6,650 confirmed cases.
Union bosses today demanded that supermarkets up their security to protect staff from angry customers. By the end of the week Morrisons said it will aim to have screens that are 1.5 metres wide installed in all stores and at every check out.
The protective screens, which are one and a half metres wide and nearly one metre high, will mean that customers and checkout staff will be shielded and at a distance from each other. The clear screens will feature messages to explain social distancing measure and direct customers to small waist-height windows for transactions.
Morrisons aims to have 1.5 metre wide screens in all stores at every check out by the end of week, one cashier was pictured smiling behind the screen today
People were pictured outside Asda this morning in North Tyneside as they lined up to be let into the store amid a country-wide lockdown
Shoppers outside a Tesco store in Lewes, East Sussex, were seen lining up outside this morning with their shopping bags as they respected social distancing guidelines
The Tesco store in Lewes was operating a one in one out policy today in order for shoppers to remain safe while using their services
People stand apart as they wait for a Sainsbury’s supermarket to open in south west London. One man was seen with his trolley in the street
People were seen queuing outside one Asda in Benton North Tyneside today, this is while as early as 6.30am people were waiting outside a Tesco’s in East Sussex, where a ‘one in one out’ policy had been implemented.
Stricter controls on public movement were introduced last night and the Prime Minister also asked Britons to use online shopping services where possible.
The Union of Shop, Distributive and Allied Workers (Usdaw) last night called on retailers to increase numbers of guards and to limit the number of customers allowed in at one time.
Speaking to the The Times they also said Perspex shields should be introduced on checkouts.
Outside one Asda store in North Tyneside, some decided not to respect social distancing guidelines and had crammed their trolleys next to each other
Banks also felt the strain this morning as some lined up outside this Santander branch in Manchester in order to use its services today
Morrisons stores will continue to take cash but customers will be encouraged to make contactless, Apple Pay or Google Pay card payments if possible. David Potts, Chief Executive of, Morrisons said:’We want to do our bit to help customers and colleagues from being affected and to help everyone observe social distancing at our checkouts. This will help us to continue to play our full part in feeding the nation it’s more than our job.’
Morrisons became the second UK supermarket to introduce the screens after Aldi made the initial decision last week.
Tesco is also said to be in talks to protect staff.
Paddy Lillis, the general secretary of the union told The Times that the scenes in supermarkets at the weekend proved that bosses need to protect workers.
People observe social distancing while queuing at a Sainsbury’s supermarket at Colton, on the outskirts of Leeds, the day after Prime Minister Boris Johnson put the UK in lockdown to help curb the spread of the coronavirus
A man is seen wearing a protective face mask as people queue outside a Sainsbury’s supermarket in south west London today, with many also bringing their own shopping bags
Usdaw also demanded more regular breaks for staff working in supermarkets and asked the NHS and elderly shopping hours were enforced, as many customers had been ignoring the rules.
Banks also remained open today and people were seen lining up outside a Santander in Manchester.
This is while social media users claimed that online delivery slots, that the Prime Minister has advocated for use, are currently backed up for weeks at a time.
One use said: ‘All slots are fully booked for the next two-three weeks because of panic buying idiots who’ve never ordered an inline delivery before booking them for the first time’.
Another claimed to have ‘scored’ when they managed to pick up a packet of toilet roll at their local Co Op.
This is while one said: ‘@BorisJohnson it’s all good saying use grocery deliveries which I do on a weekly basis but because of idiots panic buying majority of items are out of stock so I am forced to go out shopping to fill in the gaps. Sometimes having to visit several shops to try and find everything.’
As the Prime Minister last night advised people to only shop for the essentials he also asked that people only go outside once a day for exercise.
Gatherings of more than two people will be banned in the most dramatic curbs on freedom ever seen in Britain in time of peace or war, as the government goes all out to stop the spread of the killer disease, which has claimed 335 lives.
A Tesco worker is seen at the front of a store in East Sussex today welcoming customers to the store who got down early to get their shopping done
These shoppers were seen lined up outside a Tesco store in East Sussex this morning. They managed to respect social distancing measures in place