Covid-19 Priority Online Shopping Slots

In March this year, the Voluntary and Community Division (as part of a much wider Emergencies Response Programme that involved a Covid 19 Community Helpline, registering 4,000 willing volunteers, food parcels and pharmacy products being delivered to people’s front doors), joined forces with the Department of Health to work with 4 major supermarkets to provide access to priority online shopping slots for people who were advised to shield during the Covid-19 pandemic.

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The scheme went live in May and will be paused from 31st July 2020 when shielding is due to end.

To access the priority slots people were asked to register their interest on NI Direct and their details were passed to the Department of Health to confirm they were listed as shielding.

Over 7,000 shielding patients have now been allocated slots by the four major supermarkets in Northern Ireland.  Feedback has generally been positive and the scheme has made a significant difference to people who were struggling to access delivery slots.

Although the scheme will be paused from 31st July, supermarkets are happy to continue to honour the slots already in place but will keep this under review.

‘The whole process was very straightforward, Asda contacted me shortly after filling out the survey and managed to get priority slots for delivery from them almost right away.  It was a stressful time and with restrictions I was unsure how I would get my food shopping but this really helped take a lot of worry and stress off my mind.’  - Barbara Beggs

For further information as to how the Voluntary and Community Division in the Department of Communities is helping the public during this time please contact ciara.campbell@communities-ni.gov.uk.

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