Food shopping is one of the few permitted reasons you can leave your house due to social distancing guidelines.

On March 31, the Chartered Institute of Environmental Health published latest guidance to reduce the risk for shoppers - ‘A Quick Guide to Shopping During the Coronavirus pandemic’. 

The broad advice is to only go food shopping when necessary and for essential supplies (such as food and cleaning products), limiting the number of times you go each week. Being allowed to go to the shop during this period is not a licence to panic-buy or stockpile. There are enough items to go around if everyone only buys what they need.

A summary of the report’s advice can be found below, while we’ve also added this content to our ‘Your Neighbours Need You’ campaign homepage

Before Shopping

  • If you are in the shielded group of people, or feeling ill, then don’t go to the shop.
  • If you are potentially vulnerable, ask someone else to do your shopping – or shop online.
  • Avoid taking your children if possible.
  • If applicable, check your local store’s special shopping times for the elderly or healthcare workers.

During Shopping

  • Follow the store’s social distancing arrangements – such as queuing outside while leaving a gap to the people next to you, and abiding by shopping ‘zones’ marked on the floor.
  • Maintain a safe distance of two metres from other shoppers and staff.
  • Ask if your trolley or basket has been sanitised since the last customer used it.
  • Sanitise your hands when you enter and leave the store, ideally using your own sanitiser.
  • Avoid touching surfaces, and use just your non-dominant hand to handle goods.
  • Don’t touch your mouth, nose or eyes – and use a contactless payment if possible.

After Shopping

  • Wash your hands immediately when you get home.
  • Remember that Coronavirus can survive on hard surfaces, therefore…
  • Wipe fridge and kitchen cupboard surfaces with sanitiser and a paper towel.
  • Wipe the outside of canned/hard surface pack goods with a paper towel/warm soapy water.
  • Alternatively, leave non-perishable foods in a safe place for 72 hours.
  • Wipe your fridge and cupboard handles with sanitiser, and wash your hands again.

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