John Lewis Partnership has become the first UK retailer to drop click & collect services to ensure COVID-19 safety.
John Lewis is also pausing in-home and installation services unless they are “essential to the health and wellbeing of customers and their families”, although all existing bookings will be carried out.
Waitrose has joined fellow grocers in enforcing more stringent measures, as face coverings are going to be mandatory in its supermarkets over the next few days.
Marshals will be positioned at the entrances of all supermarkets and will have disposable masks available for customers who do not have their own, while they will deny admission to anyone refusing to comply.
They will also be ensuring that, wherever possible, only one member of each household is permitted to shop.
“While we recognise that the detail of formal guidance has not changed, we feel it is right for us – and in the best interests of our Partners and customers – to take proactive steps to further enhance our covid-security and related operational policies,” said the employee-owned group’s executive director of operations Andrew Murphy.
Reports over the weekend suggested a further tightening of restrictions is being considered by the government to try to halt the rising tide of deaths and infections.
That might include a ban on click and collect services everywhere except for essential retailers to stop people queuing too closely together while waiting to pick up items such as takeaways and online purchases.
A requirement for everyone to wear face coverings when they go outside is another option under consideration, while a pause on house moves is also said to be on the agenda.