Tesco, Waitrose and Sainsbury's have banned people from shopping in groups - these are the rules

A number of supermarket chains in England have banned people from shopping in groups, with shoppers risking being refused entry if they do not adhere to the new guidance.

Tesco, Waitrose and Sainsbury’s have all released statements restating the rules on shopping in groups, wearing face coverings and shopping sensibly, as England goes into its second lockdown.

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What are the new rules?

Measures are being introduced in the three major supermarkets to try and avoid large queues and to help maintain social distancing, as well as preventing people from “panic-buying” as was seen in places earlier in the year.

Shoppers are being asked to shop alone, wear a face covering and avoid bulk buying to ensure everyone has access to basic supplies.

The rules on group shopping mean that couples and families should no longer shop together, although lone parents with young children will be allowed.

Sainsbury’s CEO Simon Roberts said: "Where possible, we ask that you only send one adult per household when you shop with us.

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"This will help us manage the number of people in our stores and make your shop quicker and smoother."

What about “panic-buying”?

Non-essential shops have been forced to close under new lockdown measures which came into effect in England on 5 November, but supermarkets can remain open and are expected to be busy.

Supermarkets and politicians have been keen to stress that shoppers don’t need to “stock up” or panic-buy, as essential shops will always remain open.

A message on Lidl’s website reminds shoppers about the potential knock on effects of buying more than you need.

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It said: "Our stores are being replenished every day. That item you want to buy 'just in case', might be essential for someone more vulnerable who can't visit the store multiple times."

The lockdown is currently scheduled to end on 2 December, but there are concerns among some retailers about the run up to Christmas.

A spokesperson for the government said: “As the Prime Minister said on Saturday (31 October), essential shops will remain open, so there is no need to stock up. Our message to everyone is that people should be considerate in the way they shop.

"The UK has a highly resilient food supply chain which held up well in the spring, and will do so again.

'We continue to work closely with food retailers and the food industry as we have done throughout the response to the coronavirus pandemic. They report no overall supply issues."