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Monday meeting with supermarkets to ‘clarify’ non-essential goods order, Health Minister says

25 Oct 2020 2 minute read
Health Minister Vaughan Gething on the Andrew Marr show. Picture by the BBC

Wales’ Health Minister has suggested that the ban on selling non-essential goods policy won’t be scrapped, but that it has been interpreted differently by different supermarkets.

Appearing on the Andrew Marr Show, Vaughan Gething said that they would review the policy alongside supermarkets to ensure that it was fully understood on Monday.

He said the “florid language” of opponents of the measures didn’t get away from the “great national effort” that was necessary to stop Covid-19.

He added that it was the Shadow Conservative Economy Minister, Russell George, who asked for the policy to be brought in.

The original suggestion was because it would be unfair on smaller businesses who sold the products if supermarkets were allowed to sell them, he said.


‘Stay at home’

“We’re reviewing with supermarkets the understanding and the clarity of the policy because there has been a different application in different parts,” he said,

“What we all need a step back on is to remember why the firebreak has been introduced. We recognise that it is hard for lots of people, but we’re in a week where we’ve already seen 61 deaths take place in Wales.

“Just about a month ago there were only six deaths so coronavirus is taking off. We are seeing more people lose their lives.

“We will talk [to supermarkets] again on Monday so that everyone knows what position we’re in so that we have some clarity.

“It’s also about reducing opportunities for contact. We’re asking people to stay at home to save lives. The fewer opportunities there are for people to circulate, to shop and to mix and a whole range of other activities, that’s what we’re trying to do.”

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