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Mark Drakeford says businesses can use discretion on non-essential items


Welsh “trolley police” re-sparked anger after baby formula was labeled “not essential” – just hours after shoppers were told they couldn't purchase sanitary napkins under the country's fire safety rules.

The sale of all non-essential items has been banned to deter people from spending more time in stores than necessary and to be fair to retailers who have to close.

However, the restrictions sparked outrage after alcohol was classified as "essential" but school uniforms, vacuum cleaners, hairdryers and now baby food appear not.

Today pictures from a Tesco store in Cardiff showed a shelf of baby food with a sign saying “Non-Essential” items cannot be sold.

Angry mothers raged that they can buy “babycham, but not baby milk” according to the rules – which some fear that they will panic buying in other stores that allow sales.

It came just hours after women in Tesco were told they could not buy sanitary napkins as the products were also not strictly necessary, leading to a brief disagreement between Tesco and the Welsh government as the store accused the authority – while he claimed they were wrong.

Union leader Drakeford and his team risked adding to the chaos by saying that businesses can now use their "discretion".

He said, “I realize that there will be some people who will have to buy items for completely unexpected reasons that they did not anticipate.

"In the circumstances in which these welfare issues are at stake, we will ensure that our supermarkets understand that there is a discretion to apply the rules differently."

Pictures from a Tesco store in Cardiff showed a shelf of baby food with a sign saying that the item is “not essential” and therefore cannot be sold

The sign on the shelf of a Cardiff Tesco caused outrage. Michelle Morgan-Davies, 31, mother of two (pictured) said: "Formula milk is the definition of essential."

The sign on the shelf of a Cardiff Tesco caused outrage. Michelle Morgan-Davies, 31, mother of two (pictured) said: "Formula milk is the definition of essential."

Welsh first minister, Mark Drakeford, said supermarkets can use "discretion" in deciding which items are not strictly necessary after Tesco's overzealous "trolley police" told women they could not buy sanitary towels

Welsh Prime Minister Mark Drakeford said supermarkets can use "discretion" in deciding which items are not strictly necessary after Tesco's overzealous "trolley police" told women they could not buy sanitary towels

A sign on a Tesco shelf of Aptamil baby formula read, “According to government guidelines, we are currently unable to sell non-essential items. Thanks for your understanding. & # 39;

The new mother Zoe Price, 27, raged: “This is crazy – I can buy a baby shower, but I can't buy baby milk.

“I don't know who is right or wrong anymore. It could be a Tesco mistake or it could be the government rules – whatever it shows the whole situation is completely insane.

“Nobody knows what's going on. The danger is that people will follow their own rules and that could put us all in danger. & # 39;

Michelle Morgan-Davies, 31, mother of two said, “Formula milk is the definition of essential. Stirring such worries only causes mothers to panic in the stores that sell them.

“Pregnant women and young mothers had a tough ride from all restrictions during the pandemic.

“Now it's difficult to find cheap baby clothes in the few shops you are allowed to go to. It's a worry families don't need. & # 39;

A sign on a Tesco shelf of Aptamil baby formula read, “According to government guidelines, we are currently unable to sell non-essential items. Thank you for your understanding & # 39;

A sign on a Tesco shelf of Aptamil baby formula read, “According to government guidelines, we are currently unable to sell non-essential items. Thanks for your understanding & # 39;

Nichola-Louise Smith found the sanitary napkin department at the Tesco store in St. Mellons, Cardiff, closed yesterday

Nichola-Louise Smith found the sanitary napkin department at the Tesco store in St. Mellons, Cardiff, closed yesterday

Ms. Smith posted a picture of her Tesco showing toiletries locked up by members of the public

Ms. Smith posted a picture of her Tesco showing toiletries locked up by members of the public

Two women at Tesco in Cardiff were told today they could not buy sanitary towels.

Details of the exceptional restriction were tweeted online by the supermarket following a complaint from a shopper known only as Katie from the Cardiff store.

It sparked a brief disagreement between Tesco and the Welsh government when the shop accused the authority – while claiming they were false.

Katie had said, “Can you explain why I was told today that I can't buy period blocks because I'm sure they are important for women? !!! But I can buy alcohol, it doesn't make sense. & # 39;

Then Tesco responded in a now-deleted post: “We understand how frustrating these changes will be for our Welsh customers.

"However, the Welsh government has instructed us not to sell these items for the duration of the fire lockdown."

There were also barriers preventing customers from entering the islands where the items were on display

There were also barriers preventing customers from entering the islands where the items were on display

Tesco told a shopper named Katie that under Welsh rules, the items could not be soldered, causing widespread online outrage

Tesco told a shopper named Katie that under Welsh rules, the items could not be soldered, causing widespread online outrage

It prompted the agency to step up and issue a concise statement that the supermarket, whose location is not known, was wrong.

The Welsh Government insisted: “This is wrong – products from the time are essential.

“Supermarkets can still sell items that can be sold in pharmacies. Only the sale of essential items during the break is intended to prevent more time than necessary from being spent in stores. It shouldn't prevent you from accessing the items you need. & # 39;

Tesco apologized this morning, saying pictures of barriers near the items were actually only in place after a police incident that had nothing to do with the new rules.

A spokesperson told MailOnline: “Sanitary ware is a must-have and is available to customers in all of our branches in Wales.

& # 39; Due to a break-in, this area was temporarily closed in a shop for a police investigation but is now open again.

"The response to this customer that implied that these products were not required was accidentally sent and we apologize for the confusion."

It is assumed that the fencing has been urgently undone.

It came when the rules got further confused today when ministers said people could buy non-essential goods in supermarkets – but only if they were essential.

First Secretary Mark Drakeford has announced a rethinking of the terms of the 17-day lockdown of the coronavirus "burst fire" after admitting the public needed "fed up" and "common sense".

Backlash has increased and tens of thousands of people have signed a petition.

Supermarkets have actively taped the shelves of ordinary goods, blocked entire aisles or covered them with plastic.

Health Secretary Vaughan Gething said customers should be allowed to purchase "otherwise non-essential goods" if there were "exceptional circumstances" that meant they were material.

Sainsbury & # 39; s in Cardiff had put up plastic wrap to prevent buyers from buying items that were not classified as essential

Sainsbury & # 39; s in Cardiff had put up plastic wrap to prevent buyers from buying items that were not classified as essential

A notice on the covers at Cardiff's Sainsbury & # 39; s stated that the area was currently closed and out of bounds

A notice on the covers at Cardiff's Sainsbury & # 39; s stated that the area was currently closed and out of bounds

The temporary closure saw buyers see items but they were unreachable under the new hard line rules

The temporary closure saw buyers see items but they were unreachable under the new hard line rules

The purchase of underwear is banned after the draconian move by the Welsh authorities, which will take another two weeks

The purchase of underwear is banned after the draconian move by the Welsh authorities, which will take another two weeks

Lockdown rise?

Welsh first minister, Mark Drakeford, appeared to be heading for a climb over strict measures he introduced last week.

The politician had angrily defended the plans when he questioned her before the weekend.

But after two days of chaos, the hard line seemed to wear off.

He said, “We will review how the weekend went with the supermarkets and make sure that common sense is being used.

“Supermarkets can sell anything that can be sold in another store that doesn't have to close.

"In the meantime, please only leave the house if you have to."

Mr Gething told Sky News this morning that they would "clear" the rules.

"We want this clarity for everyone so that you don't see cards that are sealed in one store, for example, but available in another, for example," he said.

He added, "If there are really exceptional circumstances and someone needs something that would not otherwise be essential, that can happen too."

Mr Drakeford ducked out of an interview on the BBC's Andrew Marr show yesterday as the controversy raged.

But he told ITV Wales News last night that he understands that people may need to purchase non-essential products "for completely unexpected reasons that they did not anticipate over the 17-day period".

Around 60,000 people have signed a petition to the Welsh Parliament calling for the ban to be lifted immediately.

As part of the fire lockdown, which began at 6 p.m. on Friday and ends on November 9, non-essential retail stores such as clothing stores, furniture stores and car dealerships will have to close.

Supermarkets have been told to only sell essential items in order to deter people from spending more time in stores than necessary and to be fair to retailers who have to close.

Mr Drakeford said: “I won't have to buy clothes in these two weeks – I don't think so – and I think many, many people in Wales will be in that position too.

& # 39; It won't be essential to me. But I do recognize that there will be some people who will have to purchase items for completely unexpected reasons they did not anticipate.

"In the circumstances in which these welfare issues are at stake, we will ensure that our supermarkets understand that there is a discretion to apply the rules differently."

Mr Drakeford said ministers would meet with supermarkets today to discuss the ban.

Whole areas of supermarkets have been closed before Saturday under restrictions imposed by Welsh ministers

Whole areas of supermarkets have been closed before Saturday under restrictions imposed by Welsh ministers

Retailers have been told to only sell essentials, and so many supermarket aisles are cordoned off and products covered

Retailers have been told to sell only essentials and so many supermarket aisles are cordoned off and products covered

Items such as children's clothing are being covered up in a Cardiff supermarket today "according to government guidelines"

Items such as children's clothing are being covered up in a Cardiff supermarket today "according to government guidelines"

Union leader Drakeford has been criticized for banning non-essential sales while the "fire break" lockdown

Union leader Drakeford has been criticized for banning non-essential sales while the "fire break" lockdown

Angry father takes off his PANTS before attempting to enter Tesco in Wales

Chris Noden

Amid widespread anti-rule protests, Chris Noden went shopping in Newport. Gwent only wore his boxer shorts and a face mask because "clothing is not an essential item".

A father attempted to shop in a Welsh supermarket wearing only his boxer shorts and a face mask to protest Wales' ban on selling "nonessential" items in supermarkets.

Chris Noden, 38, was stopped by security guards trying to push his car into the Tesco store in Newport, Gwent.

Angry Ms. Dawn, 33, filmed him trying to enter the store, saying, "Clothes are not essential – let him in."

He added, "I know they are going to want to do the right thing, and our job is to be by their side to make sure this is clear to everyone."

He also refused to rule out the possibility of a second fire protection in Wales early next year.

The current restrictions should point a way for Christmas "without requiring any period of this strict restraint," he said.

"Who knows what position we'll be in in the New Year," said Drakeford.

“When things get as serious as they are in Wales today, no one can rule out that we will have to take further extraordinary measures.

"But if we do, it will be because it is the only way to deal with this deadly virus."

The ban on the sale of non-essential items was announced in Senedd Thursday after conservative MS Russell George said it was "unfair" to force independent clothing and hardware retailers to close while similar goods were being sold in large supermarkets.

Yesterday the Welsh retail consortium called for the restriction to be "lifted quickly".

It was warned that “safe customer flow” could be undermined due to changes in store layouts to cordon off areas.

Guidelines previously released by the Welsh Government state that certain areas of supermarkets must be "cordoned off or emptied and closed to the public" during the two-week lockdown.

These include areas that sell electrical appliances, telephones, clothing, toys and games, garden products, and special areas for housewares.

Paul Davies, chairman of the Welsh Conservatives, has asked that the Welsh Parliament be recalled so that Members can discuss the ban.

He described the petition's popularity as a "clear sign" that the people of Wales want the rule to be "abolished immediately".

According to fire safety rules, people can only leave their home for limited reasons, e.g. B. to buy food and medication, to provide care or to play sports. You need to work from home whenever possible.

Leisure, hospitality, and tourism businesses are closed, as are community centers, libraries, and recycling centers, while places of worship are closed except for funerals or wedding ceremonies.

Yesterday it was reported that 1,104 people tested positive for coronavirus in Wales, bringing the total number of confirmed cases to 42,681.

Five people had died from Covid-19, according to Public Health Wales, and the total number of deaths since the pandemic began rose to 1,777.

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