Coronavirus: Here’s how Wales defines the ‘essential items’ that can be bought in shops
All shops selling non-essential items have been ordered to close in Wales after the country entered a 17-day “firebreak” lockdown on Friday.
The measures mean stores such as supermarkets and newsagents can remain open, but can only sell products the government deems to be essential.
Welsh shoppers have been left confused by the measures – with one customer pointing out that he couldn’t buy baby clothes in his local Tesco, but could get a bottle of vodka.
Here we take a look at what you can (and can’t) buy during the firebreak lockdown.
What are the “essential items” shops can sell?
The Welsh government has said “in order to maintain a level playing field” shops should not be allowed to sell products sold by a store that has been ordered to close.
Therefore shops allowed to remain open can only sell products which would normally be sold in:
- Food and drink retailers (including off licences)
- Building supplies and hardware stores
- Pharmacies and chemists
- Bicycle shops
- Petrol stations
- Garages and vehicle hire businesses
- Post offices, banks and building societies
- Pet shops
- Agricultural and aquacultural supplies shops
- Livestock markets and auctions
The rules explain why supermarkets have had alcohol products on sale but are not selling items such as books and stationery.
The Welsh government has said parts of supermarkets which sell electrical goods, telephones, clothes, toys and games, and products for the garden should be closed to the public. Dedicated homeware sections should also be closed.
Products generally considered to be “supplies for the essential upkeep, maintenance and functioning of the household” – such as batteries, light bulbs and rubber gloves – may continue to be sold.
Are closed shops allowed to do delivery?
All services on the government’s list, whether or not required they are required to close, are entitled to continue to use their premises for delivery purposes.
This means they can use their premises to manage the sale, hire or delivery of goods or services.
What about click and collect services?
The Welsh government has said only shops that are allowed to be open can continue to offer click and collect services, and these services should only be available for items that are permitted to be sold in store where possible.
The government added it recognises some online services will not be able to differentiate between different categories of goods, and in those circumstances it would not be proportionate to cease all click and collect services, given that the impact of that would likely be to increase the number of people attending stores in person.
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