Rules prohibiting stores offering non-essential products during Wales’ firebreak lockdown will not be reversed, First Minister Mark Drakeford has stated.
On Sunday afternoon, Mr Drakeford said the implementation of the rules may be fine-tuned, but the “standard decision” behind the ban was the ideal one.
A petition on the issue has exceeded 60,000 signatures, making it the largest ever submitted to the Senedd.
The Welsh Conservatives earlier said the rules were “mixed-messaging”.
Supermarkets have been informed they can only sell “necessary” products and must close parts of their stores which sell items such as clothing, shoes, toys and bed linen during Wales’ 17- day “firebreak” lockdown.
In an interview with BBC Wales, Mr Drakeford said: “The position we deal with in Wales is truly and deeply major and for these 2 weeks we are asking people to stay at home and not to mix with other individuals as much as they can.
” If the rules are not reasonable guidelines, if there are anomalies that are emerging, we will put them right, however the basic underlying public health emergency situation has not disappeared.
” The fundamental choice is the ideal one. If the implementation of it, the interpretation of it requires to be revisited to make sure the guidelines are sensible, then we will do that.
” Non-essential products are not permitted to be offered over the next two weeks. That’s why there are hundreds of stores the length and breadth of Wales are closed. The underlying issue is not about shopping, it has to do with saving lives.”
Mr Drakeford stated an evaluation into how the guidelines have actually been carried out would be hung on Monday.
Exists discretion in the rules?
Following comments earlier on Sunday by Welsh Federal government ministers Lee Waters and Jeremy Miles, Mr Drakeford stated there is some “discretion” in the guidelines for shops to sell “non-essential” items in specific circumstances.
” I was told over the weekend of a child showing up with a foster carer with absolutely nothing at all. In those situations there is discretion for that really uncommon set of scenarios to be dealt with.
” If we require to make that clearer, if we n