Supermarket giants Asda and Aldi are urging customers not to touch products, unless they intend to buy them.
The rule is one of the latest measures being launched in supermarkets across the country, to protect customers and staff with use of the government’s social distancing guidelines.
What is the guidance from Asda?
Addressing the new changes brought into its stores, Asda has said it hopes such measures will prevent further spread of the virus.
A message on its website reads: "These changes adhere to the advice from the Government and have been put in place to keep you and our colleagues safe.”
"We’re asking customers to only touch items they intend to purchase and to use cashless payment wherever they can to minimise contact.”
“There will also be clear signage, directional barriers and floor markings to help you move around our store easily and maintain a two-metre distance from other customers and our colleagues.
"You are allowed to bring your children and other members of your household to our stores, but we ask that you keep this to a minimum to help us maintain social distancing advice.
"There will be regular announcements on Asda radio to remind customers of their responsibility to apply social distancing rules, and to help you do this we are closing every other self-checkout till."
What is Aldi saying?
Aldi has also urged its customers to only touch items they intend to buy, or things they intend to use in store.
A spokesperson for the supermarket chain said: “Sanitisation stations are in place at the front of stores so it is easy for customers to disinfect their hands, trolleys and baskets before doing their shop”
“Our store colleagues may ask that customers only touch trolleys they intend to use.”
Other social distancing measures in place in UK stores
The new rule comes after the government extended the country’s lockdown by an additional three weeks, to be reassessed on 7 May.The ‘no touch’ policy adds to the list of many new rules being implemented in supermarket stores across the UK.
Other measures include limits on popular and essential items, encouraging contactless payments, limiting store visits to one person per household at a time, as well as dedicated store opening times for vulnerable customers and front line workers.
Some retailers, such as Asda, have launched Volunteer Shopping Cards, to help vulnerable customers who are self isolating, allocate a dedicated volunteer to shop on their behalf, without risk.