THE Welsh Government will review the 'fire break' lockdown restrictions on 'non-essential' items today.

Restrictions on what supermarkets could and couldn't sell caused a stir over the weekend, with many angry that sections of the shops were off limits.

Mark Drakeford took to Twitter to tell residents ministers would "be reviewing how the weekend has gone with the supermarkets and making sure common sense is applied".

The 'non-essential items' rule has proved unpopular with many shoppers, and an online petition was launched.

The online petition, submitted to the Senedd website on Friday morning, calls on ministers to overturn the rule preventing supermarkets selling items like clothes, toys and books during the two-week 'fire break' or 'circuit break' lockdown in Wales.

The petition has since received more than 60,000 signatures.

As of Monday morning it had hit 62,645.


When the 17-day 'fire break' or 'circuit break' lockdown began at 6pm on Friday, supermarkets were stopped from selling any items deemed 'non-essential', such as clothes and toys.

Many supermarkets erected physical barriers to stop shoppers browsing those sections of the stores.

Clarifying the rule on Saturday, Mr Drakeford said: "Supermarkets can sell anything that can be sold in any other type of shop that isn't required to close."

Many other retailers have been forced to close completely during the two weeks of lockdown restrictions if they are not deemed 'essential' shops.

The first minister has previously said the rule would ensure a "level playing field" – so that shops forced to close would not lose out on trade to supermarkets that could remain open and sell the same items during the lockdown.

On Saturday, the Welsh Government sought to emphasise the need for fairness.

"Supermarkets can keep selling items you can find in other essential shops – such as stationery/greeting cards," a statement read. "The purpose of selling essential items only during 'fire break' is to discourage spending more time than necessary in shops and to be fair to retailers who have to close.

"This is not for the sake of being difficult - we need to do everything we can to minimise the time we spend outside our homes. This will help save lives and protect the NHS."