People with visual impairments have claimed they were turned away from UK supermarkets ‘because they would be unable to stay two metres from other customers’ under social distancing rules.
One man alleged he was stopped from entering an unnamed supermarket in Derby because he was ‘unable to guarantee’ he could remain a distance from the nearest person.
Others with disabilities have claimed they are ‘not being allowed helpers in some supermarkets’ because the stores are ‘limiting entry to one person at a time.’
‘One individual was not allowed to go in because she couldn’t carry her basket in her wheelchair,’ Amo Raju from the Disability Direct charity said.
People with visual impairments have claimed they were turned away from UK supermarkets ‘because they would be unable to stay two metres from other customers’ under social distancing rules (Pictured: Shoppers in London today)
‘And there was the visually impaired customer who was not allowed into his local store because they said he could not socially distance and wouldn’t allow anyone to help him.’
The claims come as parents alleged major supermarkets had prevented them from shopping with their children as part of a crackdown on social distancing rules.
Many grocers have limited the number of people allowed inside a supermarket at once, with others asking customers to remain at least two metres apart amid the UK’s coronavirus outbreak.
Supermarkets have seen a significant rise in footfall throughout March, with shoppers seen lining the streets with trolleys as they wait to enter stores and stock up on essentials.
Major stores have now opted to set aside dedicated shopping hours for the over-70s and vulnerable – and NHS workers – so these groups are able to keep their fridges full.
But Mr Raju said he has heard ‘ghastly stories’ about the treatment those with disabilities have allegedly faced at UK supermarkets.
‘Common sense must prevail and reasonable adjustments must be made for disabled people, regardless of the current pressures,’ he added.
People queue outside a central London Sainsbury’s Local amid the coronavirus crisis today
Pictured: A man wearing a mask as a precaution against COVID-19 stands with a shopping trolley inside a Morrisons supermarket in York
Mr Raju also appealed to non-disabled people to think of those in need and to not book delivery or Click and Collect shopping slots if they can go to the supermarket.
He said: ‘There seems to be some confusion over the Government prioritising 1.5 million of society’s most at-risk citizens.
‘Many many disabled people do not fall into this category because they are not on high enough immunosuppressant medications.
‘There should not be the assumption that all disabled people have priority slots. We simply don’t.’
It comes as parents criticised supermarket chains including Aldi, Sainsbury’s, Asda and Tesco after they were allegedly refused entry to stores when they arrived with their children.
All four supermarkets, however, have confirmed to MailOnline that children are permitted to enter their stores.
One grandmother took to Twitter after her daughter – who is a single mother – was allegedly turned away from an Aldi store because she had her five-year-old daughter with her.
Parents have claimed supermarkets have prevented them from shopping with their children as part of a crackdown on social distancing rules (Pictured: Shoppers outside a Sainsbury’s in Saltburn)
One grandmother took to Twitter after her daughter – who is a single mother – was allegedly turned away from an Aldi store because she had her five-year-old daughter with her
‘@AldiUK since when did you stop children going into your shops? My daughter tried to go shopping today with her five-year-old daughter but was told she couldn’t go in with her daughter,’ she said.
‘She’s a single mother what is she supposed to do with her? I am beyond angry.’
Another shopper claimed she witnessed a single parent being told to leave her four and six-year-old children in the car outside an Aldi supermarket.
She said: ‘Aldi are refusing to let mums and their children in to do shopping!
‘What are single parents meant to do with their children. A single parent who has a four and six year old was told to leave them in the car!
‘Disgusting! There is a three-week wait for delivery.’
A third customer said: ‘A friend visited @AldiUK this morning and has been told that she has to leave her four kids at the front of the store whilst she does her essential food shop.
‘She’s a single mom and has no choice but to take her kids shopping as she has nobody to look after them.’
Parents have also hit out at Sainsbury’s for allegedly not allowing families to enter stores with their children
Parents have also allegedly been turned away from Asda stores despite the supermarket insisting families with children will be permitted to enter.
‘Asda are allowing one person only from each household… I just got turned away with my son,’ one shopper said.
‘Luckily I could leave him outside if I wanted as he’s old enough. Kinda concerned for the single parents with younger children and no family/support though.
‘How can they shop?’
Another added: ‘I was at Asda with my seven-year-old this week and was told by security guards that I would be ‘allowed in this time but next time I’d need to work something else out’!
‘Unfortunately many of us do not have the privilege of leaving our children safe at home. I will shop elsewhere’.
Similar scenes were reported at Tesco and Asda, with one customer claiming a single mother was asked to leave her five-year-old child outside the shop alone
A third claimed an Asda store in Reading, Berkshire was also not ‘allowing any children’ inside despite claims by the supermarket that this ‘isn’t the case.’
Similar scenes were reported at Tesco, with one customer alleging a single mother was asked to leave her five-year-old child outside the shop alone.
‘Bunch [of] heartless staff around my area,’ she said. ‘Told a SINGLE mother to leave her five-year-old child alone outside because they aren’t allowing children into the shop.
‘And because she refused, they wouldn’t allow her in.’
Parents have also hit out at Sainsbury’s for allegedly not allowing families to enter stores with their children.
Parents have also allegedly been turned away from Asda stores despite the supermarket insisting families with children will be permitted to enter
Shoppers stand two metres apart as they wait to enter a Sainsbury’s supermarket which is now enforcing restricted entry to avoid overcrowding amid the coronavirus pandemic
‘So when did you decide to stop allowing children into your stores?’ one shopper said.
‘I was refused entry with my son and security told me to leave my seven-year-old outside ALONE! I am a single parent!’
When contacted by MailOnline, a spokeswoman for Sainsbury’s confirmed children are permitted to enter stores.
Asda said it ‘absolutely does not have a ban on children coming into our stores’, but added it is ‘limiting the total number of shoppers we allow into a store at any one time.’
‘If possible, it would help us greatly if you could bring fewer family members when visiting our stores. This will help us maintain social distancing guidelines we already have in place,’ a spokesman said.
Aldi also confirmed there are no restrictions to people shopping with other family members, but said customers have been asked for one person per household to shop alone wherever possible.
Tesco added it has not banned children from its stores but it is also encouraging customers to shop with no more than one other person to help maintain social distancing measures.
The alleged crackdown on supermarket entry comes as the UK’s coronavirus death toll jumped to 1,415 after dozens more fatalities were recorded in a single day.
England reported 159 deaths overnight, while Wales recorded 14, Scotland six and Northern Ireland one.
The daily increase in deaths in the UK has fallen for two days in a row, dropping from 209 on Sunday and 260 on Saturday – in what was Britain’s darkest day in the crisis yet.
But there are fears of a fresh spike in fatalities tomorrow because officials will count deaths outside of hospitals for the first time.
Meanwhile the number of confirmed cases in Britain has now soared past 20,000 after hundreds of positive tests in the last 24 hours.
But experts predict the true number to be more than two million because of the Government’s decision to only test patients so ill they are admitted to hospital.