Supermarkets in Wales can only sell ‘essential’ items as leaders go ‘power mad’

Supermarkets in Wales will only be able to sell "essential" items during lockdown amid claims leaders have gone ‘power mad’.

They will not be able to flog items like clothes or hair dryers to make it fairer to independent firms forced to shut from 6pm today, although alcohol is allowed.

The whole country will be shut down for a 17-day ‘fire-break’ lockdown until November 9 in a bid to curb rising coronavirus cases, WalesOnline reports.

Pubs, bars, restaurants and most shops will remain closed.

First Minster Mark Drakeford said there will be tighter restrictions on what supermarkets can sell during that time compared to the last national lockdown.

He claimed it will create a "more even playing field" for small businesses.

But it sparked an angry backlash from opposition politicians.

Andrew RT Davies, a member of the Welsh Parliament and the former Welsh Tories leader, tweeted: “The power is going to their heads.”

Welsh health minister Vaughan Gething said booze is allowed to be sold in food stores.

But he claimed hair dryers are not, adding a “line by line” list of what is allowed wouldn’t be reasonable, MailOnline reports.

He said he hoped retailers will have a “grown up” understanding of the rules.

Mr Gething told SkyNews: "I don’t think that the biggest issue on people’s minds in Wales will be whether they can buy a hair dryer for the next two weeks."

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Mr Drakeford said: “We will be making it clear to supermarkets that they are only able to open those parts of their business that provide essential goods to people.

"And that will not include some of the things that Russell George mentioned, which other people are prevented from selling.

"We will make sure there is a more level playing field in those next two weeks.”

Russell George, a Tory member of the Welsh Parliament, hit out at a lack of guidance for business closures earlier this week.

He said: "At a time of considerable uncertainty, it is totally unacceptable – whether intentionally or not – to create even more concern and anxiety, which is, sadly, what this Government is succeeding at.

"The people and businesses of Wales deserve better than being left in the dark.”

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