Steps we have taken in response to the Coronavirus outbreak

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April 3, 2020

Steps we have taken in response to the Coronavirus outbreak

We want to keep you fully informed of everything we’re doing to protect you and our colleagues in response to the spread of Coronavirus.

We are staying close to the government on the latest information and advice to ensure we are doing the right thing for both you and our colleagues.

How we’re implementing social distancing in our stores to keep you and our colleagues safe

It is vital that we implement measures in our stores which will help keep you and our colleagues safe and to ensure they maintain social distancing requirements. Although these measures will drastically change how people shop, this is the right thing for us to do to help limit the spread of infection.

If you need to visit our stores, you will see colleagues at the doors to maintain safe customer numbers to help with social distancing. There will also be clear signage, directional barriers and floor markings to help you move around our store easily and maintain a 2-metre distance from other customers and our colleagues. You are allowed to bring your children and other members of your household to our stores, but we ask that you keep this to a minimum to help us maintain social distancing advice.

We’re asking customers to only touch items they intend to purchase and to use cashless payment wherever they can to minimise contact.

There will be regular announcements on Asda radio to remind customers of their responsibility to apply social distancing rules, and to help you do this we are closing every other self-checkout till. We are also in the process of installing Perspex screens at our checkouts, pharmacies and service desks to help minimise contact and keep social distancing in place.

Our colleagues are working extremely hard and under huge pressure, and we are immensely grateful to them. We’re making every effort to protect our colleagues and their health, and are providing additional hand sanitiser for colleagues who regularly come into contact with others, such as our Pharmacy, Optical, Checkout and Online Grocery colleagues. We will also be providing gloves for Checkout and Home Delivery colleagues, as well as increasing opportunities for everyone to step away from the shop floor and wash their hands.

In line with Government advice around protecting clinical workers, we are providing our pharmacists and optometrists with face masks, however, this is not something that is being advised for all colleagues. We simply ask that everyone maintains social distancing.

All of the measures we're taking in our stores to help customers and colleagues follow social distancing guidelines can be found here.

Store opening times

Our store opening hours have been changed in the current circumstances - you can check your local store opening times on the Asda Store Locator.

How we’re working to deliver online shopping

We’re working really hard to make as many online shopping slots available as we possibly can to help people stay at home. However, if you are able to shop safely in one of our stores to enable us to help those highly vulnerable people who are being asked to stay at home, we’d be hugely grateful.

If you are self-isolating or have additional needs, we would ask you to advise us of this in the ‘Other Information’ section when placing your order and tell us where you would like us to leave your order (e.g. on the doorstep, at the front gate etc.).

How we’re looking after our colleagues

We want to support our colleagues who are self-isolating or have been identified by the Government as needing to isolate themselves for 12 weeks, and so are ensuring these colleagues receive full pay for their isolation period.

We also recognise that a number of our colleagues are vulnerable and need to self-isolate for 12 weeks. For this reason we will be extending support to colleagues impacted by COVID-19 and offering 12 weeks fully paid leave to those over the age of 70, or who are pregnant and classed as vulnerable, as well as the carers of extremely vulnerable people. You can read more about this here.

As a thank you to our colleagues who do not need to self-isolate we will give them an additional week's pay in June, in recognition of their extra efforts that have protected the health of their colleagues who need to step away during this time.

How we’re looking after our communities

We will be donating £5 million to our partners at FareShare and the Trussell Trust to help the country’s most vulnerable people. This will provide over 4 million meals to families impacted by Coronavirus, as well as giving more than 3000 charities the ability to access free food over the next three months as they fight to tackle the impacts of COVID-19 in their communities.

We continue to look for ways we can help those most in need and know many now rely on friends, neighbours and community volunteers to get their groceries for them, which is why we have launched our ‘volunteer shopping card’. The card gives those self-isolating a contact-free way to allow others to collect and pay for their weekly shop, without risking handing over a debit card or using cash. To sign up for a card and top it up online, go to asda.com/volunteercard. You can learn more about how it works and what to do here.

We are incredibly proud of our NHS workers across the country, which is why we give them priority for the first hour of every Monday, Wednesday, Friday and exclusively on Sundays, so they can quickly get the essentials they need. We also want to extend our recognition to NHS care workers, who are supporting so many in care homes across the country. All we ask is that you bring ID or have your registration number to hand.

We would like to remind all of our customers that due to the hard work of our colleagues, our stores are stocked up again throughout the day – so everyone can get the groceries they need at any time as long as they shop responsibly.

We've outlined a wide range of measures to support our colleagues and suppliers who have been affected by Coronavirus. Read more about what we're doing to support those affected here.

Protecting the most vulnerable

The UK Government has identified over a million people in England who have conditions that make them extremely vulnerable to coronavirus (COVID-19) and have advised them to self-isolate for 12 weeks to protect themselves. We have been working closely with the DEFRA and some of our fellow supermarkets for the last couple of weeks to understand how to ensure essentials reach those with no support network.

We have now received the list of the most vulnerable people from the UK Government and this weekend, will begin reaching out to these customers on email to offer them first access to delivery slots, ensuring they get what they need while they stay safe at home. These customers will also benefit from free delivery and no minimum spend when they place their order. We’re also working on similar programmes for customers in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.

Read a message from our CEO Roger Burnley here.

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