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Welsh public strongly backs ‘firebreak’ lockdown but rejects non essential goods ban – poll

30 Oct 2020 3 minute read
Photo by Anastasiia Chepinska on Unsplash

The people of Wales strongly back the ‘fire break’ lockdown but oppose the ban on supermarkets selling non-essential goods, according to a new poll.

With don’t knows removed, 73% to 26% backed the closure of all non-essential retail, leisure, hospitality and tourism businesses including restaurants and pubs, the Survation poll suggested.

However, the controversial move to ban supermarkets from selling non-essential items like clothes is rejected by 59% to 41%.

With the 18% who said they did not know added, the opposition was at 49%.

But other parts of the restrictions are supported strongly. With don’t knows removed, the closing of community centres, libraries and recycling centres is supported by 62% to 38%.

The restrictions on gatherings of people you do not live with (apart from adults living alone and single parents) has the backing of the Welsh public by 81% to 19%.

Plaid Cymru voters were most supportive of the measures in general with 88% supporting the closure on non-essential retail, compared with 82% of Labour voters and 64% of Conservative voters.

On the ban on non-essential goods, 56% of Plaid Cymru voters supported banning non-essential goods in supermarkets, compared to 47% of Labour voters and 33% of Conservatives.

Survation polled 1,039 people, living in Wales, aged 16+, online, 23 October to 28 October 2020.

The survey comes after the Welsh Government received considerable political criticism over the ban of items in supermarkets selling the items. Over 65,000 people have signed a petition calling for the ban to be overturned.

The Welsh Government said on Tuesday 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”.


The list

The list of non-essential items permissible to buy includes:

  • 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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