Coronavirus: Here's how Wales defines the 'essential items' that can be bought in shops

·2 min read

All shops selling non-essential items have been ordered to close in Wales after the country entered a 17-day "firebreak" lockdown on Friday.

The measures mean stores such as supermarkets and newsagents can remain open, but can only sell products the government deems to be essential.

Some Welsh shoppers were left confused by the measures - with one customer pointing out that he couldn't buy baby clothes in his local Tesco, but could get a bottle of vodka.

But now ministers have released a new list of what you can (and can't) buy during the lockdown.

Watch: Tracking the UK economy's recovery from lockdown

What are the "essential items" shops can sell?

The Welsh government has said "in order to maintain a level playing field" shops should not be allowed to sell products sold by a store that has been ordered to close.

It originally released one list but that led to some anger among customers so the latest list says supermarkets are allowed to sell:

  • 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

  • Products for washing clothes and for cleaning and maintaining the home, including batteries, light bulbs and fuel

  • Toiletries and cosmetic products, including toilet rolls and sanitary products

  • Pharmaceutical products

  • Baby products including equipment, clothes and nappies

  • Newspapers and magazines

  • Stationery and greetings cards

  • Pet food and other pet supplies

  • Products for the maintenance of bicycles and cars

The government also says a "sensible system should be introduced" to let customers buy "non-essential items by exception".

"We'll continue to have discussions with supermarkets over the coming days as to how this will be implemented in stores across Wales," a spokesperson said.

Are closed shops allowed to do delivery?

All services on the government's list, whether or not required they are required to close, are entitled to continue to use their premises for delivery purposes.

This means they can use their premises to manage the sale, hire or delivery of goods or services.

What about click and collect services?

The Welsh government has said 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 permitted to be sold in store where possible.

The government added it recognises 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.

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