UK supermarket giant Sainsbury's has changed its in-store and online shopping rules in a bid to end long queues and help shoppers across the country.

Limits on what you can buy have also been fully removed for those either visiting shops or shopping online.

In-store fresh food counters have reopened, meaning shoppers can now get an experience much closer to pre-pandemic trips, reports BirminghamLive.

The changes include extended opening hours which should reduce or remove queues at all but the busiest times.

It comes after Tesco scrapped one way systems and changed its rules on the number of people in shops at any one time.

The changes follow updates to Government guidance on the two-metre social distance rule, and as the Government considers making masks mandatory in shops.

Sainsbury's chief executive Simon Roberts said restrictions on multiple purchases of the same item have now been lifted.

He said: "We have kept this under review as availability of key items has improved and I am pleased to tell you that we have now lifted buying restrictions on all products.

"The only exception to this is painkillers which are legally restricted to two packets per person."

Sainsbury's latest rules

Mr Roberts says food counters had been closed at the start of the pandemic but pizza counters have now reoepened in some stores.

Some ready-made hot food self-service stands in convenience stores have also reopened.

There are also changes to online orders.

Mr Roberts said: "More customers than ever are choosing to use our home delivery and click and collect services when they shop with us.

"To help more people get access to these services we have been working hard to increase the number of our home delivery and click and collect slots available.

"We have now nearly doubled this service to over 650,000 orders per week and as a result, more of our existing customers now have access to slots.

"This means we can now also let new customers register online for home delivery and click and collect slots, allowing more people to receive their groceries at a time that is convenient for them."

He thanked customers for their patience and support during the past few months of strict rules.