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Tesco ‘wrong’ for telling customers period products non-essential, Welsh Government say

26 Oct 2020 3 minute read
The original tweet and Tesco’s response

Tesco were “wrong” to say they had been told not to sell period products as part of Wales’ ‘fire break’ lockdown, the Welsh Government have said.

The supermarket responded to a message by a Twitter user who was unhappy after being told at a store that she was not allowed to buy the products. An image posted also showed a feminine hygiene section of the store cordoned off.

“We understand how frustrating these changes will be for our Welsh customers,” Tesco said. “However, we have been told by the Welsh Government not to sell these items for the duration of the firebreak lockdown.”

Tesco later deleted the tweet after the Welsh Government quote tweeted them to say that there was nothing in the rules to say that such products could not be sold.

“This is wrong – period products are essential. Supermarkets can still sell items that can be sold in pharmacies,” the Wesh Government said.

“Only selling essential items during firebreak is to discourage spending more time than necessary in shops. It should not stop you accessing items that you need.”

Tesco later updated their reply to apologise “for the confusion caused by my colleagues’ earlier reply”.

“This is a response we’re using when challenged on products that we have been asked to restrict by the Welsh government,” they said.

“However, clearly sanitary products are an essential purchase and I’m so sorry to see that one of our stores has them restricted at the moment. Can you please DM us to let me know when you were in store and which store this was, so I can look in to this further.”



Wales’ Health Minister said yesterday that he would meet with supermarkets today to clarify the rules on non-essential goods.

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.

“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.”

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