Key workers are those dedicated individuals whose jobs are vital to public health and safety during the coronavirus lockdown. But while NHS heroes and health and social care staff may be the first people you think of when you hear the term ‘key workers’, there are many others who fit that bill.
Key workers also include teachers, food chain workers – such as your cashier in Tesco or the woman who delivered your Morrisons shopping, postal workers, utility worker and local government staff.
Because their work is considered to be so vital, the Government has ensured they are able to carry out their jobs as normal.
This means they can put their children in school despite the closures, and may use necessary transport links.
However, some of these individuals have struggled to get their hands on the essentials many of them have been working hard to provide.
Key workers opening hours: What time can you do your shopping?
Express.co.uk has received emails from hard-working delivery drivers, shop workers and more, asking if they can use the allocated ‘NHS opening hours’ in supermarkets.
One reader said he was a delivery driver, working more than 10 hours a day.
He said he started work before 6am every morning, and wasn’t home until late in the evening, meaning by the time he could get to the shops many of the shelves were empty.
So what does this mean for him? How can key workers do their shopping?
When can key workers go shopping?
Boris Johnson said supermarkets will stay open amid the lockdown, but some shops have cut hours in a bid to restock shelves.
This means even the average resident may struggle to fit shopping into their busy lives.
But if you’re considered a key worker and are working long hours, it may be even more difficult for you – especially if you’re concerned about social distancing measures.
Unfortunately, it seems that unless you are an NHS or care worker, you may be out of luck.
The following supermarkets have established key worker hours:
- Tesco – an hour before opening ever Sunday
- Morrisons – 7am to 8am every Monday to Saturday
- Iceland – last hour of trading every Monday to Saturday
- Co-op – 8am to 9am from Monday to Saturday, and 10am to 11am on Sunday
- Sainsburys – 8am to 9am every Monday, Wednesday and Friday
- Asda – 8am to 9am every Monday, Wednesday and Friday
These hours were introduced after a video of critical care nurse Dawn Bilbrough went viral when she was left unable to get food at her local supermarket following a 48-hour shift.
In the video she made an emotional plea to shoppers who have begun buying more than they need amid growing fears of the coronavirus pandemic in the UK.
Holding back tears, she said: “There’s no fruit, there’s no vegetables.
“I just don’t know how I’m supposed to stay healthy.”
But these opening hours seem to only include NHS workers and not the very people bringing us all our food.
Unfortunately, this means if you are a key worker you do not have access to designated shopping hours.
However, there are ways of getting food deliveries.
Morrisons has launched a Deliveroo service, bring you your groceries within 30 minutes for a list of more than 100 stores.
The supermarket giant has also launched Morrisons Food Boxes, which have dozens more delivery slots available.