Tesco has reopened ‘non-essential’ sections in its stores (Image: SWNS)
Get our daily coronavirus email newsletter with all the news you need to know direct to your inbox
Sign upWhen you subscribe we will use the information you provide to send you these newsletters. Sometimes they’ll include recommendations for other related newsletters or services we offer. OurPrivacy Noticeexplains more about how we use your data, and your rights. You can unsubscribe at any time.Thank you for subscribingWe have more newslettersShow meSee ourprivacy noticeInvalid Email
Tesco has reopened sections selling "non-essential" items in its stores after receiving criticism from shoppers.
The supermarket chain had cordoned off areas of shops selling clothes, toys, homeware and electrical items to avoid people buying items that are not considered essential during the coronavirus lockdown in England.
Photos were shared on social media this week of sections being barricaded off by walls of tinsel and stacks of Corona and Lynx Africa.
A shop in Burnley, Lancashire, blocked off access to its entire upper floor by piling up Lynx gift sets and Christmas tinsel at the foot of the escalators earlier this week.
A sign, posted on the Lynx tower, read: "Due to the current national lockdown, we are sorry but this area of the store is currently closed.
"The lifts are therefore out of use. Thank you for your understanding."
Tesco received criticism from shoppers after closing some parts of its shops
Don't miss our coronavirus newsletter with all the essential information
Pre-Brexit stockpiling and Covid pandemic could cause Christmas present chaos
But after criticism by shoppers who took to social media to complain about the fact they could not buy clothes, Tesco confirmed it reopened its upper levels and all items are now on sale on Saturday morning.
A spokesperson said: “Our mezzanine levels are now open again for customers in all our stores.”
Tesco has also decided to double its home delivery slots to 1.5 million per week after seeing demand for online shopping rise.
A spokesperson added: "There's still high demand for our online service, so we’d encourage you to shop in-store if you’re able to do so, where we have a number of safety measures in place.
Clothes and other non-essential items were fenced off at Tesco's Streatham store in south London
"To help more people shop in-store at times that are quieter or more convenient, we've extended the opening hours in many of our shops, although the majority remain closed overnight.
"We've more than doubled the number of online slots to 1.5 million each week.
"This is to help anyone who's unable to shop in‐store – especially our most vulnerable customers – so they can access our online service."
Some supermarkets blocked off 'non-essential' sections with food or drinks
Shoppers had reported being unable to get access to baby clothes and socks due to the new restrictions.
One parent was furious about beers being used to block access to children's clothes at another Tesco store in Walsall, West Midlands.
The angry shopper said: "You should be ashamed of yourselves. We now can’t buy our kids clothes.
"Yes there’s online but sometimes urgency requires people to go in-store, and some people have no access to the internet.
"Oh and I nearly forgot, they have blocked you buying your kids clothes with alcohol."
The guidance from the UK government said: "Where a business has sufficiently distinct parts, and one section provides essential retail and one section provides non-essential retail, the non-essential sections should close to limit interactions between customers and the opportunity for the disease to spread.
"For example a food shop may stay open, but a homeware section on a separate floor or separate building should close."