Hatfield carer says healthy people are ‘disgusting’ using Tesco during vulnerable hours

Hatfield Tesco Extra. Picture: Alan Davies.

Hatfield Tesco Extra. Picture: Alan Davies. - Credit: Archant

A woman from Hatfield who took her elderly mother to Tesco for the first golden hour said she was disgusted by the amount of people there.

Full time carer Beverly Bradley arranged on Friday morning for her child to be taken care of so she could drive her 83-year-old mother to the shops.

But after Beverly pulled up and saw the amount of cars “rammed” into the Birchwood Tesco she decided against putting her mother at risk of getting COVID-19, through the lack of social distancing.

Beverly said her mother, who has got COPD, diabetes and hearing problems, has been not going anywhere and following the rules but needs to go to the shops.

She said: “I thought there would be people manning the doors to stop [the non-vulnerable] going in but it was a free-for-all.”

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Beverly added she hoped Tesco does put someone on the door as right now its “disgusting”.

Tesco sets every hour, on Monday, Wednesday and Friday morning, for the elderly to use the store, and asks that customers respect this.

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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.

“We had our first hour last Friday and whilst overall the feedback has been positive, we know some stores were still very busy during this time, as they had been since 6am when they opened.

“We’re working round the clock to get products on shelves but the reality is, availability is challenging at the moment and that’s why we’re asking customers to help us by giving priority to elderly and vulnerable customers during these times slots, which are advertised in stores.”

They said in general customers have been very welcoming of this initiative – but it does rely on goodwill and co-operation as Tesco are not preventing other customers from entering the store at this time.

Other supermarkets also have special hours for the elderly.

Sainsbury’s shopping hours are on Monday, Wednesday and Friday for one hour in the morning, while ASDA’s Hatfield store also reserves the first hour for the vulnerable.

Waitrose has also dedicated its first opening hour to elderly and vulnerable shoppers, as well as those who look after them.

The first hour for Iceland customers from Monday to Saturday is for the most vulnerable and NHS staff.

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