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Customers can now ‘ask’ to buy non-essential items at supermarkets, Welsh Government say

27 Oct 2020 2 minute read
Tesco in Newport. Picture by Tiia Monto (CC BY-SA 3.0).

Customers will now be able to “ask” if they want to buy non-essential items in supermarkets, the Welsh Government have said.

The Welsh Government also published a revised list of items which could be sold, including baby clothes and greetings cards, which had been locked away by some supermarkets as part of the ban.

It comes after they received political criticism over the ban of items in supermarkets selling the items. Over 60,000 people have signed a petition calling for the ban to be overturned.

The restrictions were brought in because it was deemed unfair on smaller shops asked to close as a result of the lockdown.

The Welsh Government said that following “positive discussions” with retailers and Trades Unions they had provided an updated list of goods that can be sold.

They had also “clarified that a sensible system should be introduced whereby customers can ask to buy non-essential items by exception under the regulations”.

“We are hopeful this provides a workable solution for retailers and customers,” a spokesperson said.

“However, we cannot move away from the central principle that retailers must restrict the sale of non-essential goods for the duration of the firebreak.

“We continue to work closely with the sector and would stress that these restrictions are in place to stop the spread of coronavirus and save lives.

“We are asking the public to continue to support the effort by restricting unnecessary journeys and shopping.”


The updated list

The Welsh Government say it is now permissible to buy:

  • Food and drink
  • Products ancillary to the sale of food and drink, primarily disposable items used for the preparation and storage of food (such as kitchen foil, food bags and cling film) but also basic products necessary to prepare and eat food and drink
  • Products for washing clothes and for cleaning and maintaining the home, including batteries, light bulbs and fuel
  • Toiletries and cosmetic products, including toilet rolls and sanitary products
  • Pharmaceutical products
  • Baby products including equipment, clothes and nappies
  • Newspapers and magazines
  • Stationery and greetings cards
  • Pet food and other pet supplies
  • Products for the maintenance of bicycles and cars

Other items not on this list will need to be requested to buy, as an exception to the rules.

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