A shopper has spoken of his anger at being turned away from a North Staffordshire supermarket after a new rule was brought in.
The man was banned from entering Sainsbury’s in Leek on the first day of the national lockdown after he turned up with his wife.
The chain is currently asking customers to shop alone to help with social distancing and stop queues building up.
Venting his frustration online, the man, from Congleton, said: “My wife and I have just been refused entry to Sainsbury’s in Leek.
“One person only to shop, which seems unreasonable when we both are in same bubble at home, and the store was very quiet at the time.”
Opinion was divided over whether the man was right to be frustrated.
Some people suggested he should have taken his money elsewhere, but others believe Sainsbury’s is right to clamp down on couples shopping together.
One woman said: “I totally agree, that’s the rules. It means less people in store so less chance of getting near people. Why can’t people just abide by the rules?”
Another added: “It makes sense if you’re capable of shopping alone to go alone. If they are limited to 50 shoppers and they allow in couples, that could be as little as 25 households or families shopping at once instead of 50. It’s a no brainer!”
A third said: “One of you could have gone in and one waited in the car. Sainsbury’s has made it quite clear what the policy would be.”
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And a fourth added: “The store has a capacity cap to save huge queues and allow more people to shop. It makes sense that one from each house goes in to allow access to more people at any one time to enable everyone to get shopping.
“A small inconvenience for you but overall it’s a good policy. Apart from those that need help shopping then going in together is fair enough.”
However, others suggested ‘bending’ the rules by getting two trolleys and pretending not to know each other.
One man said: “The simple answer is to take your business elsewhere. It’s a ridiculous rule if you are shopping for elderly parents and other members of the family and need two people.”
And a woman added: “People need to do what they need to do to get through this.”
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In a statement, chief executive Simon Roberts explained the policy.
He said: “Where possible, we ask that you only send one adult per household when you shop with us.
“This will help us manage the number of people in our stores and make your shop quicker and smoother.”
A notice on the supermarket’s website adds: “Our store teams will be asking groups with more than one adult to choose one adult to shop and will ask other adults to wait.
“Children are welcome if they are not able to stay at home.”
While there is no law which states children cannot go into supermarkets, parents are urged to follow the guidance from supermarkets.