TEN types of products allowed for sale at supermarkets during Wales’ firebreak lockdown have been listed by the Welsh Government in updated guidance.

The new list is designed to dampen the row over the ban on sales of ‘non-essential’ goods at supermarkets, which has caused mounting anger among shoppers and retailers since the lockdown began last Friday.

First Minister Mark Drakeford announced that ban shortly before the 17-day firebreak lockdown came into effect in Wales last week.

Since then, there has been a campaign to have it reversed, with a petition to the Senedd on the issue attracting more than 66,000 signatures.
“We are asking the public to continue to support the effort by restricting unnecessary journeys and shopping,” said a Welsh Government spokesman last night.
“Setting this in the context of a supermarket, we consider that the Regulations allow the following types of product to be sold”:

So, what can you now buy in a supermarket?

  • 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.
  • Toiletries and cosmetic products, including toilets rolls and sanitary products
  • Pharmaceutical products
  • Baby products including equipment, clothes, and nappies
  • Stationery and greetings cards
  • Pet food and other pet supplies
  • Products for the maintenance of bicycles and cars
  • The list has been compiled “following positive discussions with essential retailers, representative groups and trades unions,” said the spokesman.

It has also been “clarified that a sensible system should be introduced whereby customers can ask to buy non-essential items by exception under the regulations”. 
“We are hopeful this provides a workable solution for retailers and customers.
“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.
“We continue to work closely with the sector and would stress that these restrictions are in place to stop the spread of coronavirus and save lives.


Earlier yesterday, retailers had detailed how they would like the issue to be dealt with.
They wanted ‘final liability’ for a purchase to rest with customers.
Under their proposals, stores would “prominently display Welsh Government-approved signage in front of known non-essential items and in communal areas,” according to a joint statement from the Welsh Retail Consortium, Association of Convenience Stores and business lobbying group CBI Wales.
These would “make clear the government’s regulation and the need to abide by it”.
The statement continues: “This message will be reinforced through in-store announcements and social media messaging.
“We recommend the individual customer is trusted to make their own decision as to whether a product is non-essential or not, taking into account the notices displayed throughout the store and their immediate needs.
“If the customer goes ahead with the purchase of the item, the final liability ought to rest with the customer.
“These recommendations would mean non-essential items are not removed from shelves – or cordoned off in stores – but large notices are placed in front of the products and in communal spaces informing customers of the Welsh Government’s regulations and the Welsh public are trusted to make the right decision.”