Coronavirus: Sheffield's Iceland store opens early for elderly and ‘vulnerable’ shoppers

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An Iceland store in Sheffield will introduce a dedicated shopping slot for elderly and “vulnerable” customers amid the coronavirus outbreak.

The supermarket chain announced on Monday it is encouraging store managers to dedicate the first two hours of opening on Wednesday morning to those of state pension age and “vulnerable people in their community, such as those with disabilities.”

A store in West Belfast was the first to bring in the new measure – and Sheffield’s Fox Valley store has confirmed every Wednesday from 10am to 12pm will be prioritised for the elderly residents in our community.

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It comes as the government outlined plans on Monday to ask at-risk groups, including the elderly, to self-isolate for 12 weeks. It is not yet known how that will affect Iceland’s proposals, as well as those from other businesses.

Iceland at Fox Valley retail park is introducing a dedicated shopping slot for at-risk groups amid the coronavirus outbreak.Iceland at Fox Valley retail park is introducing a dedicated shopping slot for at-risk groups amid the coronavirus outbreak.
Iceland at Fox Valley retail park is introducing a dedicated shopping slot for at-risk groups amid the coronavirus outbreak. | JPIMedia

Nationwide Building Society is also trialling new branch opening times during the coronavirus outbreak so that elderly and vulnerable people can manage their money in a safe environment within a dedicated hour each morning.

From Wednesday March 18, more than 100 branches across the UK will open from 8am, instead of the usual 9am, in a trial to determine whether it is an effective way of providing support to people aged 70 and above and those with underlying health conditions at an uncertain time.

The opening times at the Iceland store at Fox Valley will remain the same throughout the week.