Major supermarkets are trying to fill thousands of new jobs while creating golden hours for NHS workers to cope with surging demand.
Tesco, the UK’s biggest grocer, is recruiting 20,000 temporary workers for at least the next 12 weeks due to the coronavirus outbreak.
Sainsbury’s says health care workers will be able to shop between 8am and 9am every Monday, Wednesday and Friday, alongside elderly and vulnerable shoppers.
Meanwhile, Sainsbury’s is following other supermarket chains and introducing a golden shopping hour for NHS and social care workers.
The COVID-19 outbreak has sparked widespread panic buying and triggered an economic slump that has put tens of thousands of jobs at risk.
Aldi said it is looking to take on 9,000 new staff, of which 4,000 are permanent, to work in its stores and distribution centres to meet the demand triggered by the pandemic.
Some staff are being interviewed, processed and are working within the same day, it added.
Lidl has said it wants to recruit 2,500 workers to start immediately in its stores.
Managers said the new positions will be four-week contracts, helping to restock shelves and assist staff.
The firm, which has 800 stores across the country, has said it is particularly keen to hear from workers who have lost their jobs as a result of businesses shutting down over the outbreak.
The move comes as Asda also revealed plans to hire more than 5,000 temporary workers, who face losing their jobs because of the crisis.
The food retail giant is working alongside 20 national businesses who are being forced to let go of staff, to ensure those employees can remain in work.
It follows similar announcements from Co-op and Morrisons that they are significantly expanding their workforces too to cope with the extra demand of households in self-isolation.