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COVID-19 - A message from Tracey Clements, Chief Operating Officer, Boots UK and ROI

21 March 2020
Feature Healthcare


These really are extraordinary times. Things are changing daily. Which, unsurprisingly, leads to a lot of questions.

For our part, we’re doing everything we can to be here for you, while also keeping you - and our colleagues - safe.

That means we’re making changes to some of our stores. This includes closing some pharmacies temporarily during the day to allow our teams to catch up on dispensing prescriptions and to ensure we maintain the correct levels of hygiene standards throughout the day. We’ll also be asking you to sign the back of your prescription with your own pen wherever possible.

It’s heartening to hear just how many of you have enquired about the wellbeing of our colleagues. Many of them are at the frontline of healthcare in our communities. So, we’re working closely with the NHS to make changes that will help keep them safe too, which could include the use of personal protective equipment as and when the government advises in certain situations.

But by far the most asked questions have been around collecting prescriptions. So, here’s everything you need to know.

  • Avoid spreading the infection. If you or anyone in your household has a temperature or a new and continuous cough, please stay at home. Even if it’s mild.
  • Try to plan ahead. If you have a repeat prescription, please try to order your next one seven days before it’s due. This will help us deal with urgent requests more swiftly.
  • Put your contact details on your prescription. We’ll call you when your medicines are ready to collect. Or we can text you if you sign up to our reminder service here. Please try not to ring the pharmacy unless it’s absolutely urgent.
  • Family, friends and neighbours can collect your medication for you. They’ll need your name and address, and in some cases their ID. (If you don’t have anyone who can collect for you, contact us and we’ll do our utmost to support you). 
  • Get your prescriptions delivered to your home for free. Consider switching to our free online NHS repeat prescription service. Your medicines will be sent to you free of charge via Royal Mail tracked delivery*.
  • Remember social distancing.  If you are coming into store to collect your prescription then you may see tape on the floor to direct where you can stand. This is for your own and our colleagues' safety.  We ask that you please respect any markings they may have been introduced in your local Boots store.

We are working closely with the NHS and reviewing everything we’re doing daily, often hourly. As the situation develops, we’ll do our utmost to bring you the latest guidance and advice, as well as tell you about any further changes we’re making in our stores.

You can hear our Chief Pharmacist, Marc Donovan, and other leaders across the business answer frequently asked questions here. 

We very much appreciate your patience and kindness over the coming weeks.  Our colleagues at Boots are doing everything they can to support you in these unprecedented times.

Stay safe. Best wishes to you all.


Tracey Clements, Chief Operating Officer, Boots UK and ROI


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Boots is the UK’s leading health and beauty retailer with over 52,000 team members and 2,100 stores, ranging from local community pharmacies to large destination health and beauty stores.*

Boots serves its customers and patients for life as the leading provider of healthcare on the high street and the UK’s number one beauty destination. It offers an unrivalled depth and breadth of products, which incorporates its extensive own brand range and innovative portfolio of brands, including No7, the UK’s No1 skincare brand, Soap & Glory, Liz Earle Beauty and Sleek MakeUP.

2024 marks Boots’ 175th anniversary year. Founder John Boot opened a herbalist store in Nottingham in 1849 to offer an affordable alternative to traditional medicines. His son Jesse expanded the business to become a modern retailer and the biggest chemist in Britain. Throughout its history, Boots has listened, learned and innovated, and it continues to challenge itself to improve its products and services every day.

Boots is part of Walgreens Boots Alliance, which is a global leader in pharmacy-led, health and wellbeing retail.  More company information is available on

*Figures accurate as of 30 November 2023