As supermarkets attempt to ensure social distancing is followed in its stores - queuing has become something we all expect when doing our weekly shop.

And even though Brits are renowned for their patience when lining up, it can still be tedious – not to mention the prospect of being rained on.

Which is why the largest supermarkets have introduced new systems to help cut down queue times or allow you to avoid them completely.

Here's a round-up of the systems in place at all major supermarket chains.

Knutsford Guardian:


A new traffic light system is being introduced to control the numbers of customers going in and out of stores.

The system – which is automated – goes green when the store has safe number of people inside.

It changes to red when stores are full and social distancing rules cannot be obeyed.

Knutsford Guardian:


Morrisons is letting three people using baskets in for every person using a trolley.

It means that those with smaller households – or those just wanting to pick up a few things – do not have to wait as long.

There are separate queues inside and outside for this system.

Knutsford Guardian: Asda has made a retrospective application for permission to open at 8am.


Asda has launched a new “virtual queuing” trial that it hopes to launch across all stores if successful.

Customers in Middleton, Leeds, are able to log into the queue remotely – using their phone - and wait in their cars until they’re told they can enter the store.

If it proves successful, it could be launched in all stores.

Knutsford Guardian: WALTHAMSTOW: Tesco moves in on St James Street


Who wants to stand in a queue when it’s tipping it down outside? Not many of us.

Which is why the supermarket has said that shoppers may be asked to wait in cars to avoid standing in long queues, exposed to the elements.

On their website, they write: "If it's raining or particularly cold, we may ask you to stay in your car to queue – we'll let you know when you can come in."

Knutsford Guardian:


Lidl is still asking customers to queue up outside once they have reached capacity.

But if you have difficulty queuing, you can make yourself known to staff and you will be given priority entry.

They are also trialling a click and collect system – something many of us are familiar with.

It works just like any other click and collect system, but unfortunately isn’t available in the UK yet.

If it is successful in Poland, Lidl says it will be rolled out further.

Knutsford Guardian:


Sainsbury’s policy has been to extend opening hours from 8am to 10pm.

They also ask that people visit throughout the day to avoid queues when stores open in the morning.