Shops in Wales Classing Winter Clothes and Cleaning Supplies as ‘non-essential’

The “firebreak” lockdown in Wales prohibits the sale of non-essential goods, meaning shoppers are unable to buy items such as mops, birthday cards or stationery for the next 17 days.

Confused shoppers faced taped-off aisles in supermarkets on Saturday as Wales’ new “firebreak” lockdown prohibits the sale of non-essential goods. What was causing the anger and frustration was that items like winter clothes, bedding, cleaning supplies and stationery have been classed under the “non-essential” category. This means they will not be available to purchase for over two weeks.

Under government guidelines, certain sections or aisles of large supermarkets or department stores “must be cordoned off or emptied, and closed to the public”. The Welsh government has defended the move as “a straightforward matter of fairness”. Wales’ First Minister Mark Drakeford defended the policy, saying people were fairly warned that non-essential retail would close during the 17-day period.

He told a press conference in Cardiff that any suggestion that the ban was based on his own politics was “nonsensical”. “We are requiring many hundreds of small businesses to close on the high street right across Wales. We cannot do that and then allow supermarkets to sell goods that those people are unable to sell,” he said.

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Written by

Tony Winterburn

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