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Monday 1st June 2020

Coronavirus: Supermarkets 'turn away' blind shoppers as they can't 'guarantee' social distancing

They can't get home delivery slots either…

Supermarkets have "turned away" blind shoppers because they can't "guarantee" they will be able to stick to social distancing guidelines.

Boris Johnson implemented the measures ahead of a UK lockdown.

Now, Brits must ensure they are 2 metres away from people they do not live with at all times.

However, that seems to have posed a problem for the visually impaired.

Blind people have been turned away from supermarkets (Credit: Splash News/stock picture)

Blind shoppers have claimed they have been turned away from supermarkets over the stores' worries.

One man alleged he was stopped from entering a supermarket in Derby because he was "unable to guarantee" he could stay a safe distance from the nearest person.

Read more: How to get free government food vouchers during lockdown

Other disabled shoppers, meanwhile, have claimed they're "not being allowed helpers in some supermarkets".

They claimed this is because the stores are "limiting entry to one person at a time".

A visually impaired customer was not allowed into his local store.

Disability Direct's Amo Raju said: "There was the visually impaired customer who was not allowed into his local store. They said he could not socially distance and wouldn't allow anyone to help him."

Amo added: "One individual wasn't allowed in because she couldn't carry her basket in her wheelchair."

Blind shoppers are struggling to get delivery slots (Credit: Unsplash)

Others said blind people are being "frozen out" of the reserved shopping hours amid the coronavirus pandemic.

Blind people were not on the government's list of 1.5 million people considered vulnerable and able to access delivery slots.

Read more: Police tell corner shops to stop selling Easter eggs because they're not "essential"

"Frozen out"

One said: "Blind people are being frozen out of the reserved shopping hours. A colleague has been using supermarket deliveries for 20 years, now she can't get a delivery slot and is worried."

The Royal National Institute for the Blind told ED! it has suggestions that'll enable blind shoppers to visit stores safely.

However, they would only work at the discretion of individual supermarkets.

Tips for the blind

The rep said the blind shopper should push the trolley, while a supermarket employee stands at the front with their arms outstretched.

They said this would ensure the shopper was 2 metres from others.

The rep also suggested taking someone along who is self-isolating with the blind person.

However, this could prove to be a problem with supermarkets limiting the number of people allowed in store.

ED! previously told of parents being asked to leave their children at supermarket entrances.

One mum said it was "disgusting".

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