Welsh supermarkets can return to selling electronics, clothes and toys while garden centres reopen TODAY as national lockdown further eases – but non-essential shops remain closed
- All non-essential retail was ordered to close in Wales on Christmas Eve last year
- Supermarkets stayed open, but items like books and DVDs could not be sold
- Shoppers raged as rules saw supermarkets cordoned off clothing and toy aisles
Welsh supermarkets can return to selling electronics, clothes and toys while garden centres can also reopen today in an easing of lockdown – but non-essential shops remain closed.
All non-essential retail was ordered to close on Christmas Eve last year as Wales entered alert level 4, but shops selling essential items such as food could remain open.
It meant supermarkets continued to trade but they were banned from selling anything not deemed essential, such as books, DVDs and toys.
Aisles were taped off to stop customers buying non-essential goods – a measure that saw customers rage during similar measures last October.
Supermarkets in Wales can reopen aisles with non-essential goods from today, while garden centres will also be able to welcome customers for the first time this year
Gwilym Llwyd Owen was filmed tearing down sheeting at a Tesco supermarket in Bangor, shouting ‘rip the f***ers off’… kids’ f***ing clothes, it is a disgrace.’
He later pleaded guilty to causing criminal damage to the plastic sheeting at the store.
He also admitted using threatening or abusive words or behaviour or disorderly behaviour likely to cause harassment, alarm or distress.
Non-essential retailers are not expected to open in England until April 12 at the earliest, but in Wales, garden centres are also now allowed to open for the first time this year.
Shoppers raged over a non-essential item ban in Wales last year. Gwilym Llwyd Owen was filmed tearing down sheeting at a Tesco supermarket in Bangor last October, shouting ‘rip the f***ers off’… kids’ f***ing clothes, it is a disgrace’
It is part of a more cautious approach being adopted by the Welsh Government in leaving lockdown due to the emergence of the highly-infectious Kent variant of the virus.
It has warned that if there are strong signs of a growth in infections, relaxations may need to be slowed, paused or reversed.
On March 27 the ‘stay local’ travel requirement will be lifted, which will move Wales from alert level 4 to 3.
Ahead of the Easter holidays, from March 27 self-contained accommodation will be allowed to resume business, libraries will reopen and organised outdoor children’s activities can resume.
From April 12 there will be a full return to schools, colleges and other education settings, all shops will reopen and close contact services will resume.
If infection rates remain stable or continue to fall, ministers will decide on April 22 whether to allow gyms and leisure centres, outdoor attractions, outdoor hospitality, weddings and organised indoor and outdoor activities to resume.
Speaking last week, First Minister Mark Drakeford said: ‘We can see light at the end of the tunnel as we approach the end of a long and hard second wave, thanks to the amazing efforts of scientists and researchers across the world to develop effective vaccines’
Speaking last week, First Minister Mark Drakeford said: ‘We are now entering a critical phase in the pandemic.
‘We can see light at the end of the tunnel as we approach the end of a long and hard second wave, thanks to the amazing efforts of scientists and researchers across the world to develop effective vaccines.
‘Our amazing vaccination programme has made vaccines available to people in the most at-risk groups at incredible speed.’
The plan to ease lockdown will be revisited after every eligible adult has been offered a vaccination, which is scheduled to be by the end of July.
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