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Covid-19 - FAQs

Contacting Tesco Ireland

Where do I find out about store opening times?

The best place to find out about store opening times for your local store is to visit our Store Locator page.

I have a query in relation to my Grocery Home Shopping delivery - who do I talk to?

If you have a query about an order, you can contact us on 1850 744 844. 

I have a query in relation to Tesco Mobile - where can I find out more?

In line with Government guidance, our phone shops have re-opened and will operate under normal phone shop trading hours. 

We are closely following the guidance from the HSE and as a result, many Tesco Mobile colleagues are working from home, including some from our contact centre. This may impact the speed with which the Tesco Mobile team can respond to your needs, however there are tools and information available to help you to self-serve in the interim. Find out more here

If you need to get in touch with Tesco Mobile, the following options are available:

  • Live Chat or email
  • Twitter or Facebook
  • If you are a Tesco Mobile customer, you can call 1903 or 1749 for free from your Tesco Mobile phone or 1743 if calling from abroad
  • You can also log onto my.tescomobile.ie or download My Tesco Mobile app for additional self-service options.  

Our Stores

Are all stores open as normal?

Yes, our stores are open as normal. We do have some changes to opening times – i.e. stores closing at 10pm, rather than 11pm – in order to help our colleagues and ensure they have time to replenish stock in the store. 

How are you implementing social distancing measures in stores?

We are following the HSE guidance on social distancing and this is now embedded across all of our stores.

Following a successful trial at our Greystones store, we are rolling out new queue-management technology at our store entrances. The technology indicates the number of people in store at any one time, highlighting when it is safe to enter with directional arrows permitting entry, or a stop sign if customers need to wait. This is a simple, accurate way of reducing queue times and allows our colleagues spend more time helping customers. 

Throughout the store, we have put floor markings in place to remind people about social distancing and - at checkouts - we've installed plexiglass screens, as well as floor markings and signs to keep a two-metre gap at both ends. We are also opening every second checkout, where possible, to create more space. Regarding social distancing reminders, we’re reinforcing the message for our customers with advertising, signs and audio tannoy announcements, and are examining other ways that we can support social distancing across our store network.   

Are sanitisers available in stores?

Yes. Sanitising stations are available at our store entrances.  Our stores are regularly cleaned, but we’ve also taken on additional cleaning services so that our trolleys, baskets, self-scan machines, ‘scan as you shop’ handsets, and chip and pin terminals are regularly cleaned with disinfectant products. Our colleagues are taking regular breaks to wash their hands thoroughly and we have provided them with hand and surface antibacterial wipes. 

Do Tesco colleagues have to wear a face covering in stores?

Yes, in line Government Regulations which make the wearing of face coverings in retail settings mandatory from Monday 10th August, our colleagues working in stores will be wearing face coverings. Colleagues working behind protective screens are exempt from wearing face coverings. We have made face masks available to colleagues, and continue to implement and share the latest public health advice, which we monitor closely on an ongoing basis.

Do customers have to wear a face covering when visiting a Tesco store?

Yes, in line with Government Regulations which make the wearing of face coverings in retail settings mandatory from Monday 10th August, it is mandatory for customers to wear a face covering in our stores. The Regulations allow for a number of exemptions to this, including for medical reasons.

We are supporting the Government’s communication campaign by reminding customers that face coverings are mandatory in store with signage and audio tannoy messages, and we also continue to share general public health guidance on safe shopping at this time.

Am I still able to pay by cash in store or do I have to use card?

We are still accepting cash in stores, but we would encourage the use of card where possible. Our chip and pin terminals are regularly cleaned with disinfectant products. 

Have you increased the limit for contactless payments?

Yes, we have increased the limit for contactless payments across our stores from €30 to €50, and Apple, Google and Samsung Pay to €300 for those customers whose banks support these payment options.

For customers who need, or wish, to use their PIN, antibacterial wipes are available at all pin terminals for use before and after making a card payment.  

What are you doing to ensure customers can buy grocery essentials?

Supplies are continually coming into our distribution centres and, behind the scenes, our teams are working around the clock, picking and packing hundreds of thousands of cases for delivery to stores every day. We have supply of the products we all need and are working with our Irish and international suppliers, to make sure that any impacts on our supplies of food, drink and other products are kept to an absolute minimum. We would encourage customers not to stockpile or ‘bulk-buy’ items at this time.  

Do you have limits on any items for sale in stores?

We haven’t put formal limits in place, but to help make sure that everyone can get the items they need we would ask customers not to change their shopping habits. There is no need to stockpile or bulk-buy items. 

Why are counters unavailable in stores at the moment?

We want to make sure we are focusing our efforts on the areas that are most in demand in our stores and on giving customers access to the essentials. Customers are increasingly shopping for pre-packaged goods and all of the 100% Irish beef, chicken, lamb and pork is still available from our chilled cabinets rather than from counters. Our stores are open as normal and will continue to be. We ask our customers to keep shopping as they normally would. 

How long will these measures be in place for?

We don’t have an end-date for these in-store measures and will continue to monitor the situation and follow Government and public health advice in this regard. 

The HSE has published advice on shopping safely during the coronavirus pandemic, click here to read.

Our Community

What are you doing to help people who are more vulnerable in store?

We are very conscious that some of our customers are more vulnerable as we all respond to COVID-19. Therefore, we have exclusive shopping times for the over-65s, family carers and the extremely medically vulnerable (including over 70s) – up to 9am, Monday to Friday. This means that these groups have exclusive access to stores up to 9am on weekdays, to provide a little help at this time.  

We are also pleased to support the Government’s Community Call Initiative and have issued guidance to Local Authorities for volunteers shopping in our stores. Volunteers will be provided with priority access to the store and with free multi-shop trolley bags to aid with their shopping. We will also facilitate them with over-the-phone payments and help with any other concerns they may have at this time.

We continue to look at how we can help our communities, so we are working with stakeholder groups to examine other ways in which we can help. 

What are you doing to support healthcare workers?

We have priority access for healthcare workers, care workers and emergency services personnel at all other times (outside of our exclusive hours for over 65s, family carers and those who are extremely medically vulnerable). Anyone in these groups can now come to the front of the queue when they shop at our stores - they simply need to bring valid identification with them as they present to stores.

Are your 'Blue Tokens' still available?

Community is really important to us, but for hygiene purposes, we’ve paused charity bag packing and the distribution of our Community Fund blue tokens. We’ll begin these activities again as soon as we can. 

In the meantime, as part of the Community Fund, three special donations of €50,000 each will be made to ALONE, Age Action and Family Carers Ireland to support their efforts in helping the elderly, family carers and those most vulnerable members of our communities across the country. 

And we are still working hard to support our local communities through the Tesco Community Fund, too. As the situation with Covid-19 unfolded, we worked with our local store teams and Area Community Champions to identify those most in need at this time.

So far, we've had two rounds of the Community Fund during Covid-19, with causes that represented the elderly, health impaired and vulnerable were identified to be a recipient of a donation in the first round, and projects who provide mental health support services, supports for victims of domestic abuse, the homeless, and people experiencing food poverty were among those who benefitted from donations from the second. To date, donations through the Community Fund during Covid-19 have totalled €240,000. The third round is now underway and is dedicated to supports for young people.

We will continue to work to identify relevant local good causes to support through the Community Fund as the situation with Covid-19 continues. 

Our Grocery Home Shopping Service

Why can't I get the Grocery Home Delivery or Click and Collect slot I want?

Our grocery home shopping services, whether home delivery or by collection, have seen unprecedented demand during the pandemic, and we have worked hard to respond to help those customers most in need.

We are pleased to have been able to make more delivery slots available as a result of a number of changes, including asking our customers to ‘Think before you Click’ by only shopping online if really needed. We have also expanded our Click & Collect services in 14 locations nationwide. To date, measures undertaken have resulted in thousands of additional slots being made available to customers around the country,

How are you catering for those who are cocooning and/or those who are vulnerable through your Grocery Home Shopping service?

We are continually working to prioritise over-65s and more vulnerable people on our Grocery Home Shopping service and have been able to prioritise our over-65 customers, nursing homes and care homes with earlier access to slots. We would encourage anybody who is vulnerable at this time and does not have support in their community to contact us for assistance. 

Our Grocery Home Shopping service delivery drivers have been provided with advice on delivering to people who are vulnerable and/or cocooning.

Are your deliveries contactless?

Yes, all of our Grocery Home Shopping deliveries are now contactless, which means all orders are delivered to the doorstep, or to the entrance of an apartment block. Deliveries are also bagless, so we would ask customers who require shopping in bags to add them to their basket.

Are you still substituting products at this time?

Our teams continue to work diligently around the clock to restock our stores every day.  In light of the current demand for products, we are making some changes, which means we will only be able to provide substitutions on essential products (bread, milk, baby products including food and nappies, for example) and not across our wider range. 

Temporary VAT reduction

Are you applying the VAT reduction in stores and online?

Yes, the Government have temporarily reduced the standard VAT rate from 23% to 21% for a six-month period from 1 September 2020 to 1 March 2021 and we are implementing the change for our customers across applicable products. This amounts to over 20,000 products in our largest stores.

What products will be reduced?

This VAT rate applies to items such as Confectionery, Soft Drinks, Clothing (for 11 years and older), Beer, Wines & Spirits as well as many household, health and beauty and general merchandise items.

Will the VAT reduction apply to Tesco Mobile?

Yes. For more information visit Tescomobile.ie

Are display prices being updated?

Yes, prices have been updated at the shelf edge. Customers have been charged the lower temporary VAT rate from 1st September at the checkout.

Prices shown on our clothing lines will not include the VAT reduction, however the VAT discount will be deducted at the till, for those clothing items to which it applies.

Is children’s clothing included?

Children’s clothing items (up to the age of 11 years) are not subject to the standard 23% Vat and therefore are not impacted by this VAT rate change.  Other clothing items in our F&F range will have the 21% VAT rate applied – this will not be updated on the clothing tags, but customers will be charged the reduced price at the checkout.

Will all the prices go back up?

There is a temporary reduction on the standard VAT rate from 23% to 21% for a six-month period from 1 September 2020 to 1 March 2021, in line with the Government’s July Jobs Stimulus.