An UK Government spokesperson has denied reports in the press than English supermarkets are set to follow those in Wales and refrain from selling some goods such as clothes and books during lockdown.
According to industry publication The Grocer, stores have been instructed to cordon off aisles which contain non-essential products only, following in Wales’ footsteps after similar measures were introduced here.
However a UK Government spokesperson denied the report, telling website Guido Fawkes that “These claims are false. Items will not be cordoned off.”
One individual involved in the talks told the Grocer that the UK Government had instructed retailers in England that non-essential goods could not be sold in aisles that did not contain essential goods.
“The Government have said that they are not going to force retailers to shut down all non-essential goods, like it happened in Wales,” they said.
“However,” the source added, “those stores which have specific areas of so-called non-essential goods will have to cordon them off.
“They will not have to close off aisles where there is a mix.”
The Welsh Government policy caused a furore when introduced during Wales’ ‘firebreak’ lockdown and a petition against the move was signed by almost 70,000 people.
The Welsh Conservatives were also very critical of the move, with Health spokesperson Andrew RT Davies calling it a “barmy ban” and the Welsh Government a “tin-pot dictatorship”.
England will enter a month-long lockdown tomorrow and come out on 2 December. Wales will come out of its own two-week lockdown on Monday next week.