The boss of Tesco UK has issued a warning to customers as Christmas approaches and large swathes of the country face harsher coronaivirus restrictions.

While reassuring customers there was no need to panic buy, that didn't mean things would stay the same, either.

Tesco chief executive Jason Tarry said: "Our stock levels are good, so there’s no need to buy more of your regular groceries than normal.

"And as the festive season approaches, it’s always busier for our stores, so please consider shopping a little earlier than you usually would, to avoid the peak festive period."

Tarry also took the chance to re-emphasise the rules Tesco has put in place for shoppers.

Shoppers were told to head to stores earlier than usual for Christmas food

"We understand that it won’t always be possible, but if you’re able to shop alone then please do. It’ll help make our stores safer and make everyone’s shop a bit quicker," he said. 

He added that Tesco has now installed a ‘traffic light’ system in some larger stores to help manage customer numbers.

"Once in-store, please keep to the social distancing markings. If there’s a queue outside and it’s raining, we’ll be handing out sanitised umbrellas in our larger stores," Tarry said.

"Please follow the legal guidance on wearing a face covering. If you forget to bring one, you can pick up a pack at the front of the store and pay for it with your shopping later."

To help vulnerable customers, the Tesco boss advised people to shop in store to keep delivery slots clear for anyone shielding.

"In-store, we’re continuing our dedicated hours for vulnerable customers, and we’re giving NHS workers priority access," he added.

"Please check store locator for your local store’s hours."