Supermarkets in Wales will be allowed to sell non-essential items in "exceptional circumstances", the health minister has said.

The Welsh Government is due to discuss the ban, which has been heavily criticised over the weekend, with supermarkets on Monday.

Health minister Vaughan Gething has said they will be allowed to sell the items during the two week fire break lockdown in "exceptional circumstances".

“We’re looking to have that clarity so you don’t see cards, for example, sealed up in one shop but available in another,” Mr Gething told Sky News.

“We want the clarity on the principle that if there really are exceptional circumstances when someone needs what would otherwise be a non-essential item, that can happen as well.

“We want that clarity because this potentially overshadows the much bigger issue of having a fire break to save people’s lives.”


The issue of non-essential items is expected to be addressed during the health minister's press briefing later today.

Mr Gething said that allowing non-essential retail to open during the lockdown would "undermine the point" of the restrictions.

“We’re having a really difficult stay-at-home period to make sure more people are alive,” the health minister said.

“If we decided that larger retailers could carry on selling those items, we know we’d have the situation that Ireland faces right now, where smaller retailers are significantly unhappy and calling for action to be taken.

“If we then allow all non-essential retail to open then we’ll undermine the point and the purpose of a package of measures to help save people’s lives.”

He added that many retailers had online shops which people could buy non-essential items from during the lockdown.