With COVID restrictions in place, and many locales in NSW currently under lockdown, a trip to the shops to stock up on your weekly essentials can be even trickier.

And if you or your carer are concerned about what's allowed for those caring for you under COVID stay at home orders in NSW or how best to socially distance, Carers NSW has information available here.

Here's some tips and tricks to make your shopping experience a little smoother, or to get groceries and other essentials delivered straight to your door!

Avoid the queues

Some shops and supermarkets now have wait time updates available online or via apps, such as the Q-Tracker app that Woolworths has made available. This makes it easier to plan to shop while it's quiet, or decide when to head to another nearby store if your local is currently fairly busy and you'd need to queue.

If you have a friend or relative who usually does your shopping for you, another option is to make an online or phone order that they can be notified about when it's ready and just pick up instore, or even get delivered directly to the boot of their car.

Checking in via QR code

QR codes and check-in requirements are everywhere right now, including at grocery stores. If you have a smartphone or other device, you can download the Service NSW Mobile App if you're in NSW, CBR App if you're in the ACT, or The Territory Check In App if you're in the NT. These can make it easier to check-in when required, and you can even check in other family members who are with you at the time. Another alternative is to download a QR Scanner app or use the QR scanning capabilities already available through your phone's camera or web browser, and you can enter your information in a form online after scanning the code.

Don't have a Smartphone? If you are with a friend or family member who does, they can also check you in. Alternatively, the business you are attending can also check you in - if you need assistance with this, it can be helpful to have your details that need to be entered, such as first name, last name and phone number recorded on a card or piece of paper you can carry with you and then show the person assisting you. If you have difficulties with your speech, you may also wish to record that you require assistance checking in on your card or piece of paper to make the whole check-in process as quick as possible. MND NSW also have speech cards available with a clear and simple message that you may wish to carry and use in your interactions with others. They are the size of a business card and can easily fit into a wallet or purse, and you can request some by contacting our InfoLine on This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or calling 02 8877 0999 to request copies.

Get it sent direct to your house

You can order online or over the phone at major supermarkets, and get groceries delivered direct to your door. And other big chains like department, furniture and hardware stores also offer online ordering and delivery options to your house (or for easy pickup at a post office or other location nearby if you live in a rural or remote area).

But did you know, many local greengrocers, butchers, or even your local favourite clothing store may also offer online or phone orders and allow for pickup of your order, or even delivery direct to your house? And with current COVID restrictions, they may now offer these services even if they didn't previously, so it can be worth asking your favourite shops and businesses!

When it comes to getting your medication from your local pharmacy, you can request that your doctor sends your prescription directly to your chosen pharmacy. Many pharmacies offer a home delivery service, and as part of the Home Medicines Service you may be eligible to get your medications delivered to you free of charge. You can find out more information about ways to get your medications whilst under COVID restrictions here.

Online or phone ordering

As we've mentioned above, ordering online or over the phone can be a handy way to get your essentials. If you haven't tried this before, there are often helpful tips, videos and other support online to give you a hand, and many stores may even offer discounts or other special deals if you're a first-time online shopper with them!

Ready to order groceries online? Coles has helpful tips here, and Woolworths has some hints here.

By ordering online for 'click and collect' or home delivery at grocery and other stores, you can usually also see if the items you need are in stock, and at which stores to save you or your carer having to phsyically visit multiple stores to find what you need.

Skip the cooking

If your friend or relative usually cooks meals for you and is currently finding it difficult to due to COVID restrictions or needing to isolate, or you'd just like a bit of assistance getting your meals, there are options for meal delivery available.  

Meals on Wheels is a service providing nutritionally balanced meals that are delivered direct to you by volunteers. Find out more about Meals on Wheels and apply to receive meals if eligible here.

And if you'd just like a day off from meal prep, many of your local restaurants often offer takeaway meals through online or phone ordering, with easy pickup or even home delivery options. Another option for getting meals from local eateries direct to your door is to order through a delivery service like Menulog, DoorDash, Deliveroo or Uber Eats.

I've ordered my essentials, now what?

If you're waiting at home for your groceries and other essentials to arrive, there's loads of online experiences, movies, and more available: 

Take a trip to the zoo - Zoos Victoria, Taronga Zoo, Dublin Zoo, and San Diego Zoo all have online animal experiences available. If the aquarium is more your thing, take a look at Sea Life MelbourneMonterey Bay and Baltimore National aquariums.

Have a music festival at home - You can search online for virtual reality or livestream music festivals and concerts. If it's a Byron Bay music festival you're after, Splendour XR is your virtual reality Splendour in the Grass at home on July 24 and 25. You can also find upcoming concerts held by your favourite artists and livestream many of them at Songkick (and it also covers comedy shows too if you'd like a change from music concerts!)

Head out into the community online - Even in lockdown, you can still spend time with friends, family, and your local community online - there are many online platforms available. You can even host or take part in an online community event, such as holding a virtual get-together for Drink Tea for MND.

Visit the art gallery or museum - Newcastle Art Gallery, QAGOMA, National Museum, NGV and all have online events available. If you'd prefer to create the art to exhibit instead, why not enter art competitions being held online, such as the Ocean Shores Art Expo? And if you'd like to virtually visit other art galleries, museums and more events from around the world, take a look at Google Arts and Culture.

Off to the theatre or opera - View recordings and also excerpts of Broadway hits here, Globe Theatre tours and events here, Sydney Opera House online experiences here, and a performance by the Rotterdam Philharmonic Orchestra here.

It's movie night - Netflix, YouTube and Disney+ all have a range of movies and more available.


If you have any questions or concerns, or would like further support during this time, please contact your MND Advisor or our Information Line on 1800 777 175


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