Shoppers at Honiton Tesco face 30-minute wait to enter – but store is at ‘optimal efficiency’ for social distancing

Tesco Honiton has set out new social distancing rules. Picture: Chris Carson

Tesco Honiton has set out new social distancing rules. Picture: Chris Carson - Credit: Archant

Shoppers are facing a wait up to 30 minutes to enter Honiton’s Tesco supermarket.

However, the store is at ‘optimal efficiency’ regarding social distancing for its shoppers as the Covid-19 pandemic continues to affect millions across the country.

Many businesses in Honiton have already closed their doors temporarily to help stave off the threat of the coronavirus, which has claimed more than 1,000 lives in the UK so far.

However, the town’s Tesco store in Battishorne Way remains open – albeit with some strict procedures in place to combat the risk of spreading the virus.

Duncan Sheridan-Shaw, the store’s community manager, said there are lines all over the floor in the main store, which shoppers will have to adhere to.

He said: “You have to keep two metres apart at every opportunity.

“There are cashiers, customer services and colleagues around that are all looking to help you and support you.”

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Mr Sheridan-Shaw said customers could take up to an hour to finish their shop, and face a 30-minute queue before they even set foot in the store.

He said: “Please really be aware of whether you need to come to shop and whether these are the essentials you need, and on a personal note, dress warmly.

“It is bitter out there, and we have got people turning up in shorts and T-shirts.

“Remember these social distancing policies we are taking will continue for the foreseeable future.

“There are planned additions of plastic screening, plastic aisle division – all sorts coming through the company, but none of us want to be in a position where we are possibly affecting or infecting each other.”

Mr Sheridan-Shaw said any carers or NHS staff who need to collect prescriptions will be given priority in the pharmacy queues.

Much of the UK is in lockdown after Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced a new set of restrictions to fight Covid-19.

Members of the public will now only be allowed to leave the home for four purposes:

– Shopping for basic necessities;

– One form of exercise a day alone or with members of your household;

– Any medical need or to provide care for a vulnerable person;

– Travelling to and from work, but only where absolutely necessary and if you cannot work from home.

Mr Johnson also announced the closure of all shops selling ‘non-essential goods’ including clothing and electrical items, libraries, playgrounds, outdoor gyms and places of worship.

All gatherings of two or more people are banned, as are social events including weddings, baptisms and other ceremonies, excluding funerals.