Sainsbury’s makes major change to online shopping deliveries as lockdown eases

“If you are shielding, we would ask that you leave bags outside your door so that the driver can transfer your shopping into your bags for you,” Sainsbury’s requested. 

The plastic-free scheme will be in place for both home delivery and click and collect orders. 

The supermarket is still offering vulnerable customers priority access to the online delivery slots, though it has expanded the service in order to keep up with demand. 

New customers are also now able to sign up for online orders, following a pause on new accounts as the chain dealt with the huge spike in demand in the last few months. 



Supermarkets announce huge changes for shoppers as lockdown eases

Supermarkets have been adapting to the coronavirus pandemic over the last few months, introducing new rules and implementing changes to their stores. The crisis has also changed shoppers’ habits, with more Britons than ever shopping online in the hope of avoiding coming into contact with others. It also led to a rise in the use of plastic bags – but this is all set to change. 

The paper bags have a similar capacity to a bag for life, with handles that the store claims are strong enough to carry up to 16kg (the equivalent of 13 bottles of wine). 

The bags are 100 percent PEFC accredited – meaning they are sourced from forests that are managed responsibly, and are manufactured at an eco-powered site in Wales. 

The chain said that since the initial introduction of the paper bags in all of its stores, one in three shoppers have already made the switch.

Morrisons also revealed that removing plastic bags for life across all of its stores would save 90 million from being used, removing 3,510 tonnes of plastic a year. 

David Potts, Chief Executive of Morrisons said: “We believe customers are ready to stop using plastic carrier bags as they want to reduce the amount of plastic they have in their lives and keep it out of the environment. 

“We know that many are taking reusable bags back to store and if they forget these we have paper bags that are tough, convenient and a reusable alternative.”

However, the stores will still sell jute, cotton and reusable woven bags options in all stores, priced at £2.50, £1.50 and 60p respectively.

Waitrose has also reportedly said it will have a similar trial before the end of the year in order to cut back on plastic. 

Details are yet to be announced, but the chain has also made a change for shoppers using plastic bags for online deliveries.

From this week, online customers will once again be able to recycle their carrier bags via their delivery driver after the retailer temporarily paused the service during the pandemic.

Customers will be asked to leave the carrier bags that they want to recycle outside of their homes so that drivers can collect them while maintaining social distancing. 

They will also be able to return parcels they’ve received from John Lewis online via their delivery driver, once their online grocery delivery has been made.

George Leicester-Thackara, Head of Corporate Responsibility at the John Lewis Partnership, says: “During lockdown, we temporarily stopped recycling bags for online deliveries to keep our drivers and customers safe.

“As a result of customer demand and our ability to ensure the safety of our customers and Partners, we have taken the decision to build on the momentum we had prior to the pandemic and continue to reduce the use of plastics, which remains a priority for us and many of our customers.”



Sainsbury’s queue app: Changes to rules as lockdown eases – How to use new 'virtual' queue

The first shops to take part will be Uxbridge, Pimlico, Dome Roundabout in Watford, Leicester North and Newham Royal Wharf.

Sainsbury’s says the aim of the scheme is help shoppers “stay safe, save time and shop conveniently in stores”.

Director of eCommerce at Sainsbury’s, Nigel Blunt, said: “We’re always on the lookout for how we can make our customers’ lives easier using technology.

“We’re trialling a virtual queuing system which enables shoppers to hold their place in the queue using their smartphone, and we will be listening closely to feedback from our customers and colleagues.”



Post-lockdown blues: Six easy steps to help manage re-entry anxiety as lockdown eases

The nation is slowly unlocking, step-by-step getting back into the swing of previously established routines or creating new ones. The risks of the virus alone is enough to make you dread returning to work or stop you from socialising. On top of this fear, the faster pace of life and influx of deadlines and tasks is a lot to process. Express.co.uk spoke to Executive Leadership Consultant, Mindset Coach, Founder of Mindful Talent and co-founder of the Mindful Talent Coaching Academy Alister Gray.

States of stress, anxiety and overwhelm are to be expected during this strange time of life, but there are really easy trick to ease these feelings.

Mr Gray recommended six morning rituals to help you settle back into life after lockdown.

The following steps will engage your brain and keep you calm, present and focused.

Stop pressing the snooze button and get out of bed early to practise these exercises.

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Breathwork

Focussing on your breathing each morning will prepare you for the day ahead.

Mr Gray explained: “Our breath is an incredible tool that enables us to clear the mind first thing, connect to the present moment and improve our overall focus as well as our physical health.

“To create and maintain a sense of calm as we re-enter life after lockdown, it is important we activate our para-sympathetic side of our autonomic system (our rest & digest state) through breath-work.

“This will help slow the heart rate, keep you grounded, calm and balanced and primed for the day that lies ahead.”

You can do this following this simple breathing technique:

Close your eyes and practise inhaling to the count of four, holding your breath to the count of four, then exhaling through your mouth for the count of four.

Over time you can increase the count for all parts.

The important thing is that you maintain a consistent count for the inhale, hold and exhale, as this will help create balance and focus and allow you to start your day with a calm, relaxed mindset.

Meditation

With lockdown easing and Brits returning to their hectic schedules, your mind is likely to fill up with worries and un-ticked chores on your to-do list.

Mr Gray said: “With an increased level of work, activities and social commitments, the mind chatter will inevitably increase as well.

“A great way to slow the mind is to practice morning meditation.

“There are many ways to meditate and a great place to start is with guided meditation, however if you want to start your morning without technology being present, then use this simple mantra meditation to take you deeper into present moment awareness.”

Simply close your eyes, straighten your back, relax your shoulders and begin to focus on the inhale and the exhale.

Then on every inhale repeat (in your head) the word “So” and on every exhale the word “Hum”, repeat this mantra “So-Hum” in alignment with the rhythm of your breath.

Whenever you notice your mind wandering, bring it back to the mantra and your breath.

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Journaling

Journalling isn’t the same as writing a diary. If you don’t have a journal, then buy one!

Mr Gray said: “Journaling is a great tool for coping with stress and anxiety.

“Practicing regular journaling can help you through anxious feelings and help to reduce over-thinking or obsessing over things.

“It’s a great technique that can help solve the root of your anxiety, which in turn creates clarity of mind and minimises the symptoms.

“It’s a really powerful practice that can help to examine and shift through anxious thoughts, and also empower you into action.”

It’s really simple, all you have to do is spend time each morning asking yourself some questions. Five minutes is enough to start.

Record things like:

What would make today great?

If I could complete one task today, what would I choose?

Who could I reach out to who I’ve not connected with in a while?

Mr Gray said: “As you become more comfortable with journaling, you can change the questions and mix it up.

“Journaling is an incredible way to develop emotional regulation, creating space and time to consider, think and reflect on a deeper level, whilst simultaneously helping you to release unwanted emotions and feelings by labelling them through writing (knowing as affect labelling in neuroscience).”

Gratitude & Appreciation

Stop being so pessimistic and start being grateful for what you have.

Mr Gray explained that gratitude and appreciation stimulate parts of the brain that release positive chemicals and endorphins throughout your body, this is accomplished by focusing on positive experiences, memories and thoughts.

“This will ultimately make you feel less anxious, happier, healthier and perceiving the world through a more positive lens.

“Gratitude is the natural antidote to all fear! It is impossible to feel grateful and fearful at the same time.”

Every morning and every evening, spend 5 minutes writing down three to five things you are grateful for.

Then spend a few minutes on each, considering the reasons why you are grateful for these people, things, situations and experiences.

Mr Gray stressed: “It’s important to connect to the reasons WHY you appreciate them so much as this will evoke an emotional response in our minds and hearts, when we connect to the feeling, this is when practising gratitude becomes powerful and impactful.”

Visualisation

You have to be able to picture yourself feeling calm and relax to make it happen.

Mr Gray said: “For decades Olympic athletes and sports professionals have used the power of visualisation to help them prepare for big events and competitions, often referred to as ‘mental rehearsal’.

“The incredible thing is that your brain doesn’t know the difference between an imagined reality and what we call reality.

“Therefore, by spending time each morning, imagining and visualising the day that lies ahead, we are essentially programming our brain to look for, and create, opportunities to manifest this imagined reality into existence.

“Visualization involves using mental imagery and can also be used to achieve a more relaxed state of mind, therefore helping to reduce anxiety, stress and overwhelm.”

Simply take a moment to close your eyes, focus on your in breath and out breath, and bring to mind a moment in life when you felt so relaxed.

It may have been when you were on holiday by a beach/pool, spending time walking or hiking in nature or whilst swimming/surfing in the sea.

Wherever and whatever it was, bring that moment to mind, imagine and remember how you felt and enjoy basking in your happy place.

Intention Setting

Think about what you want to happen in order to make these dreams a reality.

Mr Gray explained: “Intention setting can often be confused with goal setting or targets.

“Although alike, they are entirely different in a subtle yet powerful way.

“Intention setting is about considering how you would like to be and feel as you move throughout your day… kind of like an anchor that you can return to in any moment.

“Take a moment to write down the questions “How would I like to feel as I move throughout my day?” and “How would I like to show up today?”, then spend 5 minutes writing down your answers in your journal.”



Tesco brings back Delivery Saver service sorely missed by customers as coronavirus eases

Tesco suspended the Delivery Saver plan in April, when the coronavirus outbreak was at its peak. In a email to its customers Tesco said: “As you know, we suspended Delivery Saver payments in April, which allowed us to support 580,000 vulnerable customers with 1.1million orders.

Plus, if customers end up spending more on the plan then they would have on groceries they will be reimbursed the difference in the form of an eCoupon.

Tesco explained: “Delivery Saver is our subscription-based delivery service, designed to help you reduce the cost of home deliveries for your grocery orders.

“Once you sign up, any orders you place via Tesco online will be delivered to your home or chosen delivery address, or through our Click+Collect service from your local store.

“You can do that once a day, every day, as long as your plan is valid.”

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Currently Tesco is not accepting new customers, but former customers can start using the system.

It said: “Sorry, we’re unable to accept any new Delivery Saver customers right now.

“Due to the increased demand for slots, we’re pausing new sign-ups so we can help existing customers.

“We’ll open up the service again when we can.”

Tesco is still limiting the number of face coverings that can be bought in store or ordered online to three.

In fact, no UK supermarkets have made masks compulsory currently.

Transport minister Grant Shapps gave some insight. He told Sky News why the rule is in place on public transport and not elsewhere.

Mr Shapps said: “The big difference on public transport is that you’re likely to be stuck in a space for a longer period of time.

“Whereas in a supermarket, you might go past somebody quite quickly.



Nicola Sturgeon on the spot for 'losing control' of Scots as coronavirus lockdown eases

Nicola Sturgeon said she could understand the desire of young people to be outside but insisted Scots must continue to abide by social distancing rules to keep the coronavirus under control. The First Minister was asked whether she had lost control over the lockdown after hundreds had to be evacuated from Kelvingrove Park in Glasgow after gathering in large groups to enjoy the sunshine. BBC Scotland reporter Catriona Renton asked Ms Sturgeon: “We saw, as you mentioned the scenes at Kelvingrove Park yesterday evening, and we saw the scenes in the Meadows in Edinburgh and Portobello.

“How do you get back control of the situation? Are people still respecting the measures or are they forgetting them?

“Do the police have to play a bigger role for you to keep control over the next couple of months?”

The First Minister thanked the police for their work and conceded she could understand the large groups who had sought to enjoy time outside in the sun after over three months of lockdown.

She said: “I think the police are doing a great job and they have sensibly, quickly dealt with what might have been a difficult situation in Kelvingrove Park last night and my thanks go to them.

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I don’t want to stand here and lecture people. The vast majority of people have complied with these rules and they continue to comply and follow these rules.

“I’ll never be able to properly convey the depth of my gratitude to people the length and breadth of the country for their behaviour.”

She continued: “And we see the benefits of that. And I do believe even those who have breached the rules have not done so deliberately.

“I understand, particularly for young people, a day like yesterday you want to get out and about, enjoy the sunshine and get some fresh air. 

Glasgow Police said they had been called in at Kelvingrove Park because of the large number of people inside.

Sir Harry Burns, Scotland’s former chief medical office, warned gathering as the one in Glasgow posed a serious risk of igniting a second wave of COVID-19 cases.

Sir Harry said: “If there was one person in Kelvingrove Park yesterday capable of spreading the virus then they may have spread it to three or four other people, who may go on to spread it to three or four other people.

“Before you know where you are there are 12 or 20 people who have been exposed to the virus.

“They go home, they are maybe living with parents and siblings, and, before you know where you are, you have got another outbreak that needs to be dealt with.”