Published: 12:47, 20 March 2020
| Updated: 12:48, 20 March 2020
Supermarket giants Tesco and M&S have answered calls to give heroic NHS staff allotted shopping times during the fight against coronavirus.
Big stores have faced increasing pressure to allow tireless healthcare workers time to grab essentials in the face of a panic-buying frenzy across Kent.
Such measures have already been rolled out for the elderly and the vulnerable, and Tesco and M&S are among the first to extend the gesture to under-pressure NHS employees.
Doctors and nurses will be among those allowed a dedicated one-hour slot at Tesco this Sunday, while M&S is opening its doors to healthcare staff for the first hour of trading on Tuesdays and Fridays, starting today.
In a statement, Tesco said: "We know that those working for the NHS may be finding it hard to find time to shop for their groceries at the moment.
"So, from this Sunday, we’re going to introduce a special hour in stores for NHS staff as a thank you for all they are doing.
"They can come to our large stores one hour before the usual store opening time every Sunday, and will be able to browse the store and select their shopping before the checkouts open.
"All we ask is that they bring a form of ID with them to store, such as an NHS staff card.
"We will be asking all other customers to be respectful of this and to shop during the usual Sunday opening hours."
M&S said it was introducing a "special shopping hour" to support "our dedicated NHS and emergency service workers".