On Wednesday 30 December, health secretary Matt Hancock announced that from midnight three quarters of England would enter tier 4 restrictions.
As reported by The Independent, the Midlands, northeast and parts of northwest and southwest are now in the toughest tier. This mandates that non-essential shops, hairdressers, and leisure and entertainment venues – including gyms – must close, with people asked to “stay at home”.
As happened with past lockdown or tier announcements, many have begun booking up supermarket delivery slots and some shoppers returned to panic buying. But supermarkets, including Sainsbury’s, Morrisons, Tesco and Waitrose, have reassured customers that there is enough stock for everyone, as long as people shop sensibly and only buy what they need.
However The Independent’s political editor Andrew Woodcock warns that the impact of the UK’s transition to Brexit may be noticeable during your supermarket shop. It looks like a trade deal has been struck between the UK and the EU and is in the process of being made in to legislation, but because 26 per cent of the UK’s food is imported from the EU, Britain is vulnerable to the disruption. While supermarkets are not expecting an overall food shortage, it is possible that some products will be harder to find.
During the first and second lockdowns, online shopping became for many – especially those classed as vulnerable – the safest way to do a food shop and as a result, many supermarkets prioritised delivery slots for those people and placed rationing measures on food and household items.
To keep you up to date with the latest changes from the supermarkets, we’ve compiled all the information you need to know to organise your next food shop.
You can trust our independent round-ups. We may earn commission from some of the retailers, but we never allow this to influence selections. This revenue helps us to fund journalism across The Independent.
While you are unable to order groceries for home delivery from Aldi, the supermarket has ramped up its click and collect pilot scheme and is now offering it in around 200 stores nationwide, from Bristol to Norwich.
Initially, it began as a pilot in September, available in one store in the Midlands but its success has seen it be offered to Aldi shops across England.
It means customers can now order a food shop online and pick it up at your nearest store, without having to enter and thus, reducing your need for trips outside your home amid the pandemic.
Moreover, the full range of its groceries will be available to shop and the prices will be the same as in-store.
Aldi has also partnered with Deliveroo to offer 150 items for home delivery, including British meats, bread, eggs, milk and fresh fruit and veg. Check the availability in your area on deliveroo.co.uk
Only available to existing customers? No, anyone can use the service, but you will be required to create a new account.
Delivery locations: Check your postcode on the website here, to see if the click and collect service is available near you.
Shop at Aldi now
Minimum spend: £25
Delivery waiting time: Iceland has removed its restrictions on home delivery, which is now available to all customers.
According to its website, the supermarket says: “We typically deliver Monday to Sunday, with two-hour delivery slots available between 8am and 9pm.”
It is currently showing slots up until 5 January, with availability for some postcodes from 31 December.
The supermarket has also announced its offering students £5 off a £40 online shop along with priority delivery slots if you sign up with a university email address, in order to support those affected by the new lockdown measures. You can shop its student food essentials here.
Only available to existing customers? No, anyone can place an order.
Delivery locations: You can check your postcode on the website.
Shop at Iceland now
Minimum spend: £40
Delivery waiting time: Morrisons offers one-hour delivery slots, seven days a week. There are currently slots available on 3 January for certain postcodes, though they’re sparse for some areas of the country.
Currently, Morrisons has reinstated rationing of toilet roll, hand sanitiser and disinfectant to a limit of three per customer, in order to avoid a repeat of the stockpiling seen in March.
It is also offering customers food boxes, which are accessible to all and if ordered before 3pm, will qualify for next day delivery. Starting from £16 they consist of essential food and household items for vegetarians, meat-eaters, gluten-free diets and families.
Alongside this, Morrisons also launched a British farmers food box for £45, filled with fresh produce including meats, vegetables, milk and cheeses. As many farmers have been unable to sell produce to the restaurant trade as a result of the lockdown, £1 from every British Farmers Food Box will be donated to British farming charities via The Prince’s Countryside Fund.
Morrisons has also rolled out a “Doorstep Delivery” service, which if you call 0345 611 6111 and select option 5, you can place a grocery order and it will be delivered the next day. It’s available for anyone self-isolating and is free for the elderly and vulnerable, £2 for students and standard delivery will cost £4.50.
Is it only available to existing customers? No, but you will need to register an account in order to shop online.
Delivery locations: It delivers across the UK, and you can check your postcode on the website.
Shop at Morrisons now
Minimum spend: £40
Delivery waiting time: Slots for many postcodes are sold out until 3 January when you can book a time between 6am to 11pm. There’s wide availability thereafter, bookable up to 13 January.
Only available to existing customers? No, but you will need to register for an account to order groceries online, and new customers can still register.
Delivery locations: Asda delivers across the UK and you can check your postcode on the website.
Shop at Asda now
Minimum spend: £40
Delivery waiting time: Currently there are delivery slots open from 1 January, with limited availability from 9 January.
It is prioritising the vulnerable and elderly for both it’s home delivery and click and collect slots, with 25 per cent of orders being committed to elderly and vulnerable customers.
Waitrose has brought back purchasing restrictions, only allowing two per customer on toilet roll, eggs and hand sanitiser and three item sper person for flour, pasta and household cleaning products when shopping online and in-store.
Only available to existing customers? You will need to register for an account to order groceries online and new customers can sign up.
Delivery locations: Waitrose delivers across the UK and you can check your postcode on its website.
Shop at Waitrose now
Minimum spend: £40
Delivery waiting time: It is currently showing delivery slots up until 19 January, with limited availability on 2, 18 and 19 January.
In-store, shoppers will be limited to three per person on flour, dried pasta, toilet roll, baby wipes and antibacterial wipes, while online customers will be also be subject to the same restrictions on eggs, flour and anti-bacterial products.
Only available to existing customers? You can register as a new customer on the website, and book a delivery slot when they are available.
Delivery locations: You can check your postcode on the site.
Shop at Tesco now
Minimum spend: £25
Delivery waiting time: Sainsbury’s is still giving customers who are vulnerable priority access to its online home delivery service, with slots available from 5 to 6 January currently.
It has also introduced new saver slots for £1 which will be texted to you by the supermarket on the delivery day chosen. These slots also have availability on 5 and 6 January.
Due to the rise in coronavirus cases across the UK, Sainsbury’s have asked customers to only send one adult per household into store to enable them ensure everyone can safely socially distance and reduce queues.
Only available to existing customers? No, new customers can now register online for home delivery and click and collect slots.
Delivery locations: You can check your postcode on the website to see if Sainsbury’s can deliver to your area.
Shop at Sainsbury’s now
Minimum spend: £0
Delivery waiting time: The supermarket has currently limited its food delivery service to party food and pre-prepared meals such as meats, fish and bite-size treats.
Its groceries are now available to order through Ocado.
Only available to existing customers? M&S is taking orders, but you will need to register an account to order groceries online.
Delivery locations: The supermarket currently delivers across the UK, you can check if your postcode is eligible on its website.
Shop at M&S now
Minimum spend: £15
Delivery waiting time: There are currently some delivery slots showing as available from 31 December until 3 January.
Only available to existing customers? No, but you will need to sign up in order to arrange delivery of your shopping once slots are available.
Delivery locations: The service is currently available in some areas of London, Bristol, Brighton, Manchester, Southampton, Bournemouth, Manchester, as well as Leeds, Sheffield, Liverpool, Newcastle, Nottingham and Birmingham.
Shop at Co-Op now
Minimum spend: £40
Delivery waiting time: Ocado offers home delivery seven days a week between 5:30am and 11:30pm, with slots showing from 31 December to 2 January, however, all are fully booked.
It also now offers M&S food, so you can do you weekly shop directly with Ocado.
Only available to existing customers? No, but you will need to register an account before shopping online.
Delivery locations: Ocado delivers across the UK and you can check your postcode on its website.
Shop at Ocado now
For more home deliveries, read our guide to the best healthy food subscription boxes
10 best computer monitors for working from home or gaming
10 best recipe boxes and food deliveries sent right to your door
6 best ergonomic office chairs that make working from home more comfortable
Working from home tips: How to re-vamp your set-up, according to an interior designer
Working from home: The space-saving folding desks you need
Face masks: The ultimate buying guide for reusable face coverings
Where to buy face masks in the UK: Reusable coverings to shop now