Man who ‘tore blankets of non-essential items’ at Welsh supermarket sued over policy review


A man who allegedly tore plastic sheeting over ‘non-essentials’ at a Welsh supermarket has been prosecuted, amid a review of the controversial restrictions.

Gwilym Owen, was charged with criminal damages, public order violations and coronavirus regulatory violation at a Tesco branch in Bangor on Friday.

Images widely shared on social media show a man walking through the supermarket removing plastic coverings from children’s clothes and shoes.

“Rip out the irons, f *** ing shame,” he heard her say in the video, which ended when staff stepped in.

A ‘firewall’ lockdown that went into effect in Wales on Friday at 6 p.m. included instructions for certain sections of supermarkets to be ‘cordoned off or emptied and closed to the public’.

These include areas for the sale of electrical products, telephones, clothing, toys and games, gardening products and sections dedicated to household items.

Ministers defended the measure, saying it would protect small businesses selling the same products that were forced to close.

But more than 50,000 people have signed an online petition submitted to the Welsh parliament, or Senedd, calling for the ban to be immediately lifted.

Health Minister Vaughan Gething announced on Sunday a review of the “understanding and clarity” of the policy.

He told the Spectacle d’Andrew Marr: “There have been different applications in different parts.

“We all need to take a step back and remember why the firewall was introduced, to recognize that it is difficult for a lot of people, but we are in a week where we have already seen 61 deaths occur here in the Land of Wales. “

Small business owners worried about ‘firewall’ lockdown in Wales

On Saturday evening, Prime Minister Mark Drakeford tweeted that ministers would “review the weekend” with supermarkets and “ensure common sense is applied”.

Suggestions from some UK police forces that ‘non-essentials’ or shop aisles would be regulated were quickly withdrawn as the UK-wide lockdown began which began in March.

But the ban on selling non-essential items was announced in the Senedd on Thursday after Conservative member Russell George said it was “unfair” to force independent clothing and hardware retailers to close while similar products were on sale in major supermarkets.

Under laws in effect until November 9, retail businesses deemed non-essential, including clothing stores, furniture stores and car dealerships, must close.

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

Mr Gething told the BBC the Welsh government had worked with supermarkets on the ban and discussed the items affected by it.

“We will speak to them again on Monday so that everyone understands the position we are in to have some clarity,” Gething said.

Supermarkets in Wales have been urged to remove or buckle ‘non-essential’ items

“It is also about reducing the opportunities for contact. That’s what we’re really trying to do – we’re asking people to stay home to save lives, that’s really where we are.

The Welsh Retail Consortium called for the ban to be “quickly dropped and warned that it could compromise the” safe movement of customers “due to changes in store layouts.

Paul Davies, leader of the Welsh Conservatives, has called for the Senedd to be recalled so that MPs can discuss the ban.

He described the popularity of the petition as a sign that the people of Wales want the rule to be “immediately removed”.

Under firewall rules, people can only leave their homes for limited reasons, such as buying food and medicine, providing care or exercising, and must work from home when 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.

On Saturday, an additional 1,324 people were said to have tested positive for the coronavirus in Wales, bringing the total number of confirmed cases to 41,577.

Public Health Wales said 16 people with Covid-19 had died, with the total number of deaths since the start of the pandemic rising to 1,772.


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