WAITROSE has launched a shopping hour specifically for the elderly, as coronavirus panic-buyers continue to sweep essentials from the shelves. 

The supermarket announced that from today, its supermarkets will introduce a dedicated shopping hour for the elderly, the vulnerable and those who look after them.

It will run in the first hour of a store's opening times.

ALSO READ: Tesco introduces special shopping hour for its workers and NHS staff

Oxford's Botley Road branch started welcoming in older customers at 8am.

Customers have noticed empty shelves in the store all week.

Waitrose has also taken the decision to close all Waitrose Cafes and rotisseries, and to temporarily suspend making coffees.

This is to free up extra time for staff to keep shelves stocked. 

Marks and Spencer also launched similar measures today, and has announced that from next week, the same slot (the first hour of opening) will be dedicated to elderly and vulnerable workers.

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The first hour of M&S trading on Tuesdays and Fridays have also been set aside for NHS staff and emergency workers, except in franchise stores and shops in railway and petrol stations.

Several supermarkets had already taken similar measures to set aside an hour for those in need, including Iceland, Sainsbury's and Tesco.