TESCO is urging non-vulnerable customers in Cirencester not to shop during the priority hour set aside for those who are elderly or have health issues, after reports of people taking advantage of the quieter time – and one 87-year-old told them ‘stop being selfish’.
Supermarkets across the country have put measures in place to allow NHS workers and the vulnerable the chance to pick up the essential items they need without long queues and to lessen the risk of them catching coronavirus.
Tesco has introduced a special one-hour slot for the elderly and vulnerable on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays between 9am and 10am.
NHS workers also have preferred access to a browsing hour before checkouts open on Sundays.
But there have been reports of people failing to respect these priority times at the Cirencester Tesco supermarket.
South Cerney resident Peter Chadwick, who visited the Cricklade Road branch at 9am, said that a number of people in the queue didn’t appear to the eligible for the priority hour.
The 87-year-old said he was met by a long queue filled with hoards of customers of all ages.
“I am 87 so I assumed that I would be specially catered for on Friday when I attended the Tesco hour from 9am to 10am for the vulnerable and key workers,” he said.
“I was absolutely delighted to see that the long queue which I had to join largely comprised people who looked so well and young that they were a tribute to our nation’s health,” he added sarcastically. “There were even some who looked like teenagers.
“One particularly healthy specimen was making standing jumps from one of the two metre marks to the next to the great admiration of his female companion. What a joy to see that the vulnerable are bearing up so well.
“I mentioned to one of the excellent staff how young the old people looked and they just shrugged and said that they had been told just to let people in.”
A Tesco spokesman said: “The priority shopping hours for elderly and vulnerable are one of the ways we’re trying to help these customers get access to the things they need.
“Whilst overall the feedback has been positive, we know some stores have been very busy during this time and we’re asking customers to help us by giving priority to elderly and vulnerable customers during these times slots, which are advertised in stores.”