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Wales lockdown: Baby clothes among items added to new essential shopping list

Emily Goddard
·2-min read
Kitchen products deemed ‘non-essential’ are seen covered up in a Cardiff Tesco store (Getty Images)
Kitchen products deemed ‘non-essential’ are seen covered up in a Cardiff Tesco store (Getty Images)

Baby clothes have been added to a list of essential items people can buy from supermarkets during Wales’ firebreak lockdown.

Updated guidance from the Welsh government was announced on Tuesday evening, amid mounting frustration over a ban on the sale of “non-essential” items since restrictions began on 23 October.

The fresh list of essential items includes 10 product categories, but customers can ask to buy non-essential items by exception under the regulations.

A Welsh government spokesperson said talks with supermarkets would continue over the coming days as to how this will be implemented in stores.

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

“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.”

The government reiterated that the restrictions on shopping will remain in place until the end of the lockdown on 9 November.

The 10 categories of items permitted for sale sale are:

  • 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

Wales’ health minister said on Monday it would be made clear that supermarkets could use their discretion to sell non-essential items to those “in genuine need”.

Vaughan Gething said he was “saddened” to hear of an exchange involving Tesco on Twitter, in which it was wrongly suggested that sanitary products were non-essential and could not be sold.

The supermarket later apologised.

Meanwhile, a man who allegedly ripped plastic sheeting off “non-essential items” at a branch of Tesco in Bangor on Friday was charged with criminal damage, public order offences and breaking coronavirus regulations.

The Welsh government spokesperson said: “We appreciate how difficult and inconvenient these restrictions are for many, but they have been introduced for two weeks to prevent the spread of this deadly virus and save lives.”

A further seven coronavirus deaths and 1,207 cases were reported in the country on Tuesday, according to Public Health Wales.

The latest data means a total of 1,790 people have died and 45,046 have tested positive in Wales since the start of the pandemic.

Read more

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