John Lewis Partnership to strengthen Covid safety measures

Tuesday 12 January 2021

  • Face coverings to be mandatory in Waitrose supermarkets
  • Click & Collect services based within John Lewis department stores to be temporarily suspended
  • John Lewis in-home services will only be carried out if they are essential to customers’ wellbeing

The John Lewis Partnership is making changes to its operations during the current lockdown to make shopping even safer for its customers and Partners.

Waitrose will insist that all customers must wear a face covering (unless medically exempt or under the required age). This new approach will be rolled-out across all stores over the next few days.

Marshals will be positioned at the entrances of all supermarkets. They will have disposable masks available for customers who do not have their own and will deny admission to anyone refusing to comply. They will also be ensuring that, wherever possible, only one member of each household is permitted to shop. 

Partners in Waitrose shops will now be required to wear face coverings when behind protective perspex screens and in back of house areas, in addition to the other areas where this rule already applies.

The John Lewis Partnership is also conscious of the increased need to remove reasons for non essential travel during the current lockdown, to help encourage the public to stay at home. With this in mind, Click & Collect services based within John Lewis shops will be switched off to new orders at the close of business today.

In addition, our in-home services and installations teams will now carry out a significantly reduced range of activities in customers’ homes, pausing services which are not essential to the health and wellbeing of customers and their families. All existing bookings will be honoured where the customer still wishes to proceed, but no further bookings for non-essential services will be accepted.

Andrew Murphy, Executive Director, Operations said: “We are acutely aware that the country is at a critical point in the pandemic and are constantly thinking about how best the Partnership and our Partners can play our part in limiting the spread and impact of the virus”.

“We’ve listened carefully to the clear change in tone and emphasis of the views and information shared by the UK’s governments in recent days. While we recognise that the detail of formal guidance has not changed, we feel it is right for us - and in the best interests of our Partners and customers - to take proactive steps to further enhance our covid-security and related operational policies.” 

“By insisting on the wearing of face coverings, over and above the social distancing measures we already have in place, we aim to make our shops even safer for customers.”

“Meanwhile, we will reduce the range of services we are offering to carry out in customers’ homes, focusing only on those which are essential in order for customers to maintain their health and wellbeing and that of their families.”

“We also want to help the national effort by removing reasons for non essential travel, so we have decided to suspend Click & Collect services from our John Lewis shops.”


About the John Lewis Partnership

The John Lewis Partnership owns and operates two of Britain's best-loved retail brands - John Lewis & Partners and Waitrose & Partners. Started as a radical idea nearly a century ago, the Partnership is the largest employee-owned business in the UK and amongst the largest in the world, with over 78,000 employees who are all Partners in the business. For all intents and purposes, the Partnership is a social enterprise; the profits made are reinvested into the business - for customers and Partners. John Lewis & Partners operates 42 shops plus one outlet across the UK as well as Waitrose & Partners has 331 shops in England, Scotland, Wales and the Channel Islands, including 59 convenience branches, and another 27 shops at Welcome Break locations. Waitrose & Partners exports products to more than 50 countries worldwide and has 13 shops which operate under licence in the UAE. The retailer's omnichannel business includes the online grocery service,, as well as specialist online shops including for wine and for plants and flowers.


Waitrose & Partners

Gill Smith

Partner & Senior Manager, Brand Communications
Tel: 07887 898133

John Lewis & Partners

Katie Robson

Partner & Senior Manager, Brand Communications
Tel: 07584 669696