SHOPPERS in Wales are being urged to act "sensibly" on Black Friday and during the post-Christmas sales, to minimise the threat from coronavirus.

First Minister Mark Drakeford said shoppers should consider the health risks they would take themselves, and pose to others, if people rushed out to grab Black Friday bargains.

"Don't go mad because of some sort of advertising campaign," he said. "Think carefully about the risks you are running and the risks you are taking in relation to other people as well."

Mr Drakeford said there were many "avenues" (ways to shop) available and shoppers should consider when and where they decided to go shopping.

"Provided people approach it in that way, then those [health] risks will be minimised," he said today.

"If people think [about] dashing out to the shops because of some enticement from the retail sector to do so, then I'm afraid the impact of that will be felt not just in those people's lives, but in what we will all be facing as a result."

Black Friday is one of the busiest shopping days of the year, having caught on in the UK and elsewhere in recent years. This year it falls on Friday, November 27, though deals linked to it are already available.


The occasion has for years marked the beginning of the Christmas shopping season in the USA, falling on the day after Thanksgiving.

Many retailers offer sweeping Black Friday promotions on products, both in-store and, more recently, online.

Mr Drakeford was also asked if he thought it would be "right" to encourage shoppers to attend Boxing Day and January sales in high numbers.

"Most retailers are very responsible and have done a great deal to make sure that risk of coronavirus is mitigated," the first minister said, adding: "There is nothing time-critical about sales in the post-Christmas period."

He said the Welsh Government had worked with retailers to find them an opportunity to stay open in the busy run-up to Christmas.

"But beyond Christmas, there seems to be much less of a case for the need to try and encourage people to come together in large numbers and run the risks that will inevitably be there.

"I'm hoping our retail sector will go on doing all the thing they have done very carefully already, but also think carefully about whether or not patterns of sale beyond Christmas can be smoothed out over a longer period, rather than encouraging people to all rush to the shops together."