Aldi is introducing a new automated traffic light system to help control the number of customers going in and out of stores across the country.

The nationwide rollout will start this week following a trial in a handful of UK stores. 

Traffic lights will signal when customers can enter supermarkets based on individual customer limits that are in line with two-metre social distancing guidelines.

It will help maintain social distancing in all branches, as growing numbers of customers are able to leave their homes to pick up essential items.

Priority access for NHS workers remain in place. Staff members are asked to go straight to the front of the queue to enter branches first.

Aldi
Traffic lights will signal when customers can enter stores

The traffic light system will run alongside the current measures already in place at all Aldi stores to ensure social distancing.

This includes protective screens at checkouts, distancing markers on shop floors, sanitisation stations for customers as well as signage to offer clear guidance on how to shop safely.

Stores are also encouraging one customer per trolley where possible.

Richard Thornton, communications director at Aldi said: “The protection and safety of our customers and employees is our top priority and this new system is an accurate and effective way to allow us to control customer numbers in stores.

"The system’s trial was well received by our customers and we will be gradually rolling this new social distancing measure out nationwide from this week."

The announcement comes as Britain's supermarkets prepare to welcome thousands more visitors from next month as lockdown measures are further eased.

Millions of people will go back to work from June 15 as the government allows shops across England to reopen.

Shoe shops, clothes outlets, bookshops, electronics and indoor markets will all be allowed to open their doors from June 15.

And car showrooms and outdoor markets are being given an earlier date of June 1.

But all hospitality venues - from pubs, clubs and cafes to cinemas, theatres and bowling alleys - remain shut.

The changes set out today apply to England only, with Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland set to announce their own plans in the coming weeks.