Can I accompany caree to the supermarket?

Apologies if this has been addressed elsewhere, I tried searching here and elsewhere for an answer, so I ask in the hope someone may have tried to take someone to the supermarket and could give me an answer.

Can I accompany my caree in a supermarket?

My caree is my partner; he is not especially vulnerable to the virus or its effects, but he is not independent either. In this situation, I would expect to shop alone and he would wait in the car — this is how we did our shop last week.

Unfortunately, he shared with me today that his mental health has got a little worse lately and that he ought not be left alone. He doesn’t have any other carers or health workers, and he can’t stay with family.

I’ve seen pairs of people arriving at a supermarket only to be told to split by security at the entrance. I could state that I’m a carer for my partner… but would that work?

If anyone has been in that situation, I’d be interested to know whether it worked and whether I’d need to take some kind of supporting evidence. Otherwise I may have to turn to some of the voluntary organisations, though I’d rather not if I can avoid it.

Thank you!

The Government and supermarkets just ideally want one person to shop at a time.

Assuming that being told to “split” is not slang for "bu**er off* and just to keep apart, I fail to see the point. You travelled there together, in some circumstances, (I don’t know yours), you may well spend every night in bed together. I saw couples shopping yesterday and I’ve seen couples out walking today, close together, holding hands etc. (actually, there was no etc, but that hasn’t stopped for everyone, has it?) :slight_smile:

I would just go and do it as you want to, if there’s a problem, then definitely point out that you’re your partner’s carer and they need you to be there.

What’s the worst that can happen? They send you home again, time to think of Plan B.

Hello Geoff

In the further support section on Carers UK’s website, there is an answer to the question, ‘I’m worried I may get prevented from shopping or picking up medication for those I care for?’.

See here for the website page:

I hope you find this guidance helpful


Thanks for the responses. I guess I was expecting not to be able to get a definitive response because, even if there had been official guidance to this situation, interpretations of what that guidance says might vary between supermarkets, branches and security personnel.

Nonetheless, as per your advice, I went armed with my emergency carer card, just in case. In any event, we got in unchallenged and faced no obstacles. That might not be everyone’s experience though, so I’d advise taking some evidence, as others have done here.

Thank you.

NB In a further twist, for reasons I won’t go into here, my partner had effectively forgotten everything that has happened in the past few months very suddenly, resulting in me having to explain the Coronavirus and the effects it’s had on our way of life while queuing up to get into Tesco. It didn’t exactly help his mental state (neither did the sudden alarms) but we got through! Even managed to get some toilet roll!

I do not think that there is a issue.

On Saturday morning I took my cared for person to the local supermarket to do our weekly food shop. At the entrance to the store, I explained to the security guard that I was his guardian. We had no issue getting inside. Once inside, we did not have any problem either. I say that you should try it and see what happens. What is the worst that could happen? If the worst does occur, then think about Plan B, online shopping. You will not know until you try. Seriously.

Glad to hear you got in ok to do your shopping Geoff.

In Aldi yesterday there was a couple in front of me, the husband was a bit erratic, dementia? At first he was told by the staff member to stay outside, but when challenged he was allowed in.