Supermarkets in Wales are now only able to sell ‘essential items’ under the ‘firebreak’ lockdown.
Aisles containing electrical goods and other non-essential products have even been covered in plastic at some stores.
The 17-day lockdown in Wales started last night with people only allowed to leave their homes for specific reasons, including to buy food, exercise and care for others.
A list of the ‘essential items’ which can be sold in Wales has now been published, Wales Online reports.
The Welsh Government has said that in large supermarkets or department stores, “it will be clear that certain sections or aisles of the store must be cordoned off or emptied, and closed to the public.”
New regulations say that parts of a store selling electrical goods, telephones, clothes, toys and games, and products for the garden should be closed to the public – and these products should not be sold.
The general rule for shops
The regulations say: “The default position with regard to shops (any business selling goods or services for sale or hire in a shop) from 6pm on Friday 23 October is that they should all be closed, unless they are a category of shop that provides goods or services that is explicitly allowed.
“This position extends beyond retailers selling goods such as clothes stores and includes any business operating out of a shop, such as estate agents, travel agents.
“Businesses operating out of shops should therefore assume they will be required to close those shops and cease their activities (with the exceptions of activities stated later in this guidance), unless they are explicitly listed in the regulations.
“This is consistent with the overarching requirement imposed on the people of Wales to stay at home during the firebreak period.
“The default position is that people must stay at home unless they have a reasonable excuse to leave. Reasonable excuses are listed, but they only apply if leaving home is necessary. So leaving home for any reason that is not essential is not allowed.”
Places allowed to stay open:
- Food retailers, including food markets, supermarkets, convenience stores, corner shops and establishments selling food or drink for consumption off the premises
- Cafés and canteens at a hospital, care home, school or within accommodation provided for students
- Canteens at a prison or an establishment intended for use for naval, military or air force purposes or for the purposes of the Department of the Secretary of State responsible for defence
- Hospital libraries and libraries at educational establishments
- Building supplies and hardware stores
- Pharmacies (including non-dispensing pharmacies) and chemists
- Bicycle shops
- Petrol stations
- Car repair and MOT services
- Taxi or vehicle hire businesses
- Banks, building societies, credit unions, short term loan providers, savings clubs, cash points and undertakings which by way of business operate currency exchange offices, transmit money (or any representation of money) by any means or cash cheques which are made payable to customers
- Post offices
- Laundrettes and dry cleaners
- Dental services, opticians, audiology services, chiropody, chiropractors, osteopaths and other medical Certified
- Veterinary surgeons and pet shops
- Agricultural or aquacultural supplies shops
- Livestock markets or auctions
- Funeral directors.
Shops selling multiple types of product
Many shops sell more than one type of product in their stores, and some – such as supermarkets or department stores – sell many types of products there.
As of 6pm on Friday, 23 October, there are now restrictions on what products may be sold in stores.
Other products can only be sold through delivery services, online, by telephone or mail order.
The rules say: “This has been done in view of the need for everybody to stay at home unless it is necessary to leave. People should not leave home to buy any goods that aren’t essential during the firebreak period.
“It also follows that in order to maintain a level playing field and to reduce interaction between people away from home, shops that sell multiple products should not be allowed to sell products sold by a shop that has been required to close.”
What can be sold
The products and services which can be sold (or hired out) in stores are any products which would normally be sold in
- Food and drink retailers (including off licences)
- Building supplies and hardware stores
- Pharmacies and chemists
- Bicycle shops
- Petrol stations
- Garages and vehicle hire businesses
- Post offices, banks, building societies and similar
- Pet shops
- Agricultural and aquacultural supplies shops
- Livestock markets and auctions
- Batteries, light bulbs and rubber gloves that would often be sold in other types of shop that are allowed to remain open such as petrol stations and newsagents – they may continue to be sold.
The rules state: “Businesses which would normally sell a range of products in their stores may only sell those items which fall into the categories above.
“This is likely to mean some areas of stores should be closed to customer access. It will be important though for such stores to manage access to different categories of goods in a way that ensures customers and staff can circulate safely within the store.
“Some products may need to remain available to avoid creating unnecessary constraints on a mixed product aisle to the safe circulation of customers.”
What can’t be sold
They advise that certain sections or aisles of the store must be cordoned off or emptied, and closed to the public.
As the main categories, those parts of a store selling
- electrical goods
- toys and games
- products for the garden should be closed to the public – and these products should not be sold.
- Dedicated sections selling homeware products should also be closed.
- Homeware includes utensils, crockery, furniture, bedding and decorative objectives for the home
The Welsh Government added: “Products that can’t be sold, but which are normally located amongst goods that can be sold, should ideally either be removed or sealed off, preferably the former.”
“Where these products remain on the shop floor, shops should make it clear to customers that they are not for sale. We expect shops to ensure that these products are not sold, though enforcing this rule need not necessarily be the responsibility of “front line” staff such as those working on the checkout.”
Click and collect services
Only shops that are allowed to be open can continue to offer click and collect services, and these services should only be available for items that are allowed to be sold in store where possible.
The Welsh Government says: “We recognise that some online services will not be able to differentiate between different categories of goods, and in those circumstances it would not be proportionate to cease all click and collect services, given that the impact of that would likely be to increase the number of people attending stores in person.”
All services on this list, whether or not required to close, are entitled to continue to use their premises for the purposes of managing the sale, hire or delivery of goods or services, if this is managed online, by telephone or mail order.
Help us to become independent in PANDEMIC COVID-19. Contribute to diligent Authors.