Bring back priority delivery for vulnerable, charities say

Supermarkets could save lives by reinstating priority delivery slots as Covid-19 cases soar, charities have said.

They believe that customers with serious health problems may be forced to risk infection by visiting shops in-person.

Priority delivery slots via the shielding support website stopped five days ago.

It comes after health secretary Sajid Javid warned that Britain could face 100,000 daily coronavirus cases by late summer.

READ MORE: Asda prioritises delivery to nursery staff

“We have heard from so many people with MS [multiple sclerosis], and their families, struggling to access food safely,” MS Society policy manager Fredi Cavander-Attwood told the i.

“We’re concerned people might again not be able to get those deliveries.

“We don’t want to see complacency just because we’ve unlocked.”

Scope policy manager Tom Marsland added: “The pandemic is far from over, but despite this, support like priority access to deliveries for those most at-risk has been scrapped.

“We’d urge supermarkets to continue prioritising their disabled customers who may find it impossible or much more difficult to travel.”

Independent Age policy head Morgan Vine called on grocers to “closely monitor” the number of available delivery slots.

She also urged them to remove minimum spend rules and delivery charges for the vulnerable.

“Many older people don’t spend £40 a week on food,” she continued.

“If the slots were reintroduced we would want to make sure people weren’t penalised.”

Six months ago, a coalition of charities led by Independent Age campaigned for supermarkets to remove delivery costs for shielding customers.

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