Big Govt Orders Supermarkets to Barricade ‘Non-Essential’ Aisles During English Lockdown

LONDON, ENGLAND - NOVEMBER 07: Shoppers load groceries into their car outside a Tesco Extra supermarket in Wembley on November 7, 2020 in London, England. The country has gone into it's second national lockdown since the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic began. (Photo by Hollie Adams/Getty Images)
Hollie Adams/Getty Images

The head of the UK’s oldest conservative think tank has condemned government orders for supermarkets to barricade aisles containing ‘non-essential’ items during England’s lockdown, saying Boris Johnson’s administration should “leave it to the public to decide what they want and need to buy”.

The Conservative national government has quietly instructed supermarkets to close departments selling so-called “non-essential” items during England’s second lockdown, with media reporting in recent days citizens’ anger at not being to buy items including kettles, socks, and baby clothes.

Such draconian measures were imposed during Wales’s 17-day lockdown, with the country’s Labour-led regional government banning the sale of ‘non-essential’ items in supermarkets. Boris Johnson, the leader of the Conservative Party, in essence, appeared to have followed Welsh Labour’s lead, despite the move being widely unpopular in Wales and the Celtic nation’s lockdown being around half the duration of the English one, which is set to end on December 2nd.

Government guidance on the lockdown in England, which came into force on November 5th, detailed that businesses selling “a significant amount of essential retail may also continue to sell goods typically sold at non-essential retail”, particularly where there are mixed aisles.

However, “Where a business has sufficiently distinct parts, and one section provides essential retail and one section provides non-essential retail, the non-essential sections should close to limit interactions between customers and the opportunity for the disease to spread.

“Sufficiently distinct sections might involve operating in separate buildings, across separate floors, a door between sections, using separate cashiers, or another clear demarcation between sections. For example, a food shop may stay open, but a homeware section on a separate floor or separate building should close.”

Shoppers in England have complained, in a report by Sky News, supermarkets including retail giants Tesco and Sainsbury’s have blocked off some of their aisles, in compliance of legal restrictions. Britons are left with few alternatives to buy the items they need, with the government mandating that non-essential shops close for the month. While online retailers like Amazon are set to reap the benefits of Boris’s lockdown.

Speaking to Breitbart London, Chairman of the Bow Group, Ben Harris-Quinney, said that “especially with Christmas coming, I would leave it to the public to decide what they want and need to buy, at the few shops that remain open.”

“The government is going to learn very quickly that for lives and livelihoods, many more products are important than they are able to calculate,” Mr Harris-Quinney continued, and went on to criticise the government’s restrictions which are costing Britons their jobs. “Today we have seen record rates of redundancy, and unemployment continues to rise exponentially, which is a direct result of these restrictions.”

The chairman of the UK’s oldest conservative think tank also raised the issue of the cost to life of the lockdown, after several reports have revealed a rise in depression and suicide attempts, and cancelled surgeries and medical appointments.

“What is the cost to life of all of the medical appointments that have been cancelled? What is the cost to life of all the businesses bankrupted? What is the cost to life of all of the jobs lost? That is what the government and we the public need to consider,” Mr Harris-Quinney said.


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