Welsh shops CAN use ‘discretion’ to sell non-essential items in lockdown & fresh rules to come in embarrassing U-turn

1 month ago 9

WELSH First minister says shops CAN used 'discretion' on selling non-essential items during lockdown and fresh rules are expected shortly in an embarrassing U-turn on the bizarre rule.

Mark Drakeford's intervention comes after an almighty spat over supermarkets refusing to sell sanitary pads and baby milk.

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Mark Drakeford told shops to use "discretion" in selling non-essential itmes

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Mark Drakeford told shops to use "discretion" in selling non-essential itmesCredit: PA:Press Association

Baby milk was given a "non essential" tag in one Tesco

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Baby milk was given a "non essential" tag in one TescoCredit: Wales News Service

Books have also been deemed "non-essential" but beer and alcohol is a allowed

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Books have also been deemed "non-essential" but beer and alcohol is a allowedCredit: Athena Picture Agency

Mr Drakeford said last night: "I recognise that there will be some people who for entirely unexpected reasons which they couldn't have foreseen will need to buy items.

"In those circumstances where those welfare reasons are at stake, we will make sure that our supermarkets understand they have the discretion to apply the rules differently.

He added: "Supermarkets can sell anything that can be sold in any other type of shop that isn't required to close. In the meantime, please only leave home if you need to."

And the Welsh Government said yesterday it would speak to the retail sector to make sure the policy banning the sale of "non essential items" - intended to keep shop visits short - was being applied sensibly.

A Government spokesperson said the talks had taken place and there would be chance on today,

The spokesperson said: “Ministers have held positive discussions with retail sector representatives this evening. Revised guidance will be published tomorrow.”

It comes after stacks of baby milks were slapped with a sign deeming them "non essential", causing fury from mothers

And yesterday Welsh shopper Katie was furious when she discovered she could not buy sanitary towels at the supermarket.

Tweeting the supermarket giant to complain, posting: “Can you explain why I was told today that I can’t buy PERIOD PADS as I’m sure they are essential to women ?!!!

“But I can buy alcohol - it doesn’t make sense.”

Tescos was given a slap down by the Welsh Government after it claimed on Twitter they had been "not to sell these items for the duration of the firebreak lockdown.”

Shadow health minister for the Welsh Conservatives Andrew RT Davies said the ban on supermarkets in Wales selling non-essential items during the country's firebreak lockdown "must be dropped today".

Mr Davies said the "chaos and confusion" of a woman incorrectly being told she could not buy sanitary products at a supermarket was a direct result of the ban.

"This ludicrous policy has caused real anger and it's not fair on staff working in our supermarkets and the general Welsh public who are now at their wits' end with Labour ministers," he added

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