Coronavirus forces Tesco to slash hours of 24-hour stores across UK

Tesco is reducing its hours at all 24-hour stores from tonight and will now open between 6am and 10pm in a bid to combat coronavirus demand.

The change will be made across all of its Extra, superstores and large Metros, although a select few with pharmacies will stay open past 10pm.

A spokesman for the supermarket chain said: "We’re really sorry for any inconvenience this may cause and we are doing everything we can to keep disruption to a minimum."

The decision follows a difficult week for supermarkets who were ransacked by panic-buyers at the weekend.

Sainsbury's, Tesco, Asda and Morrisons were even forced to ration items in a bid to combat the chaos.

In a bid to curb the rush, Lidl and Tesco in Ireland have also announced dedicated hours for the elderly so they can shop before the general public.

Customers have also been limited to buying loo roll, sanitising spray, pasta, and other dried foods.

Some Aldi branches have already announced early closures, choosing to shut doors at 7pm to allow for cleaning.

Morrisons has said the chain will be recruiting around 2,500 pickers and drivers and about 1,000 people to work in distribution centres.

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The move is designed to boost availability to customers who have moved to home delivery following social distancing guidelines.

The Association of Convenience Stores (ACS) said its members, which include independent corner shops, Spar and Co-op, were managing to keep up with demand.

ACS's head of communications Chris Noice said: "People are now realising that the place where there is still stock is their local shop.

"But with more people looking to self-isolate, and supermarkets reaching capacity online, I expect more convenience stores to offer home delivery services."

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