As the COVID-19 outbreak continues to change life as we know it, Paisley supermarkets rise to the challenge and do what they can to make sure our frontline NHS workers and vulnerable groups can get what they need – while minimising the risk of spreading the virus as much as possible.

Asda, Morrisons, and Iceland – all in the Paisley area – have set aside dedicated hours for the elderly, vulnerable, and NHS staff to shop without anyone else in store allowing them to make essential purchases without long queues and the worry of empty shelves.

In Asda on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays between 8 and 9am, NHS workers will have priority, and while specific shopping hours for elderly customers has yet to be introduced, the company will be assisting the most vulnerable get access to its online delivery service. Morrisons have adopted a similar policy for NHS and social care workers on Monday to Sunday, 7-8am, and are offering a food box service of essential items for vulnerable people who cannot get a delivery slot.

Iceland, the first store to implement protected hours, are continuing to operate for the elderly during their first hour of opening and for NHS staff during the last hour of trade; while Aldi are ensuring that frontline healthcare professionals and emergency service personnel will get priority at the checkout on Sundays between 8 and 9am.

Paisley’s MSP, George Adam, said:

“As I’ve said before, day to day life is certainly different for most of us here in Paisley but that does not mean we can’t continue to do our bit for those in the healthcare sector going above and beyond right now; or for those who are vulnerable and need a little extra help.

“It is great to see the big supermarkets now implementing protected hours and doing all they can to ensure both staff and customers are as safe as possible when shopping for essentials. When doing my own essential shop, I noticed social distancing signs and the introduction of Perspex screens at the checkouts – seeing companies take responsibility for continuing to spread awareness and act accordingly is exactly what’s needed right now.

“While these are indeed unprecedented times, it is during times like this that a community shows what it’s really made of. By working together with businesses, staff, and customers alike to make sure everyone is supported as much as possible; I have faith that we will come out the other side of this pandemic stronger than ever. The sense of community across Scotland – and indeed the globe – right now is when the best of humanity can shine through.”