Welsh Govt Bans Supermarkets Selling Toys Before Christmas

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Welsh Assembly leader Mark Drakeford has targetted children’s Christmas presents by banning supermarkets from selling toys in his latest extreme lockdown.

The Labour politician announced on December 19th, days before Christmas, that the Celtic country would enter a Level 4 lockdown from Sunday. So-called non-essential businesses were forced to close, with the left-wing government imposing stay-at-home orders for the following two weeks. The Welsh government had initially granted citizens five days of lockdown freedom over the festive period, reducing that to only Christmas Day.

With small and most non-essential retailers closed, many parents receiving their early Christmas pay would have found themselves unable to buy their children’s presents in supermarkets in recent days, under the edict of Drakeford, with WalesOnline reporting on Sunday of large retailers across the country blocking off toy aisles to shoppers.

The Welsh government decreed: “In large supermarkets, in most cases it will be clear that certain sections of the store must be cordoned off or emptied, and closed to the public.

“Where there are distinct parts of a store selling (for example) electrical goods, clothes, toys, games, or products for the garden, these should be closed to the public – and these products should not be sold.”

A Welsh government spokesman told the news outlet that whilst shoppers cannot buy toys in supermarkets, they may purchase all the paraphernalia associated with presents, including cards and wrapping paper. He added that if supermarkets so wished, they could offer a ‘click-and-collect’ service.

Wales had imposed a similar ban on so-called non-essential items during a 17-day “fire-break” lockdown on October, where supermarket shoppers were barred from buying kitchen utensils, bedding, and even baby clothes. English police forces had colluded with the Welsh October lockdown, confirming they stopped and questioned drivers leaving the country.

Also on Saturday, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced that London and the South East would be plunged into a newly-created English Tier 4 hours later on Sunday. Johnson’s Tier 4 lockdown goes farther than Wales’s extreme measures in one respect, in that no households are allowed to mix at all during the holidays, including on Christmas Day, effectively banning family Christmases.

Police also announced that they would be fining Englishmen trying to leave Tier 4 zones, though the Police Federation admitted that the law banning travel was essentially “unenforceable”.

Prime Minister Johnson’s last-minute announcement gave rise to London’s train stations being overwhelmed with travellers. Health Secretary Matt Hancock had scolded Britons trying to leave the capital that evening, many desperately trying to reach family before mixing households became illegal, calling it “totally irresponsible”.

Speaking to Sky News on Sunday, he continued that Britons should simply do as they are told, saying: “The Chief Medical Officer [Professor Chris Whitty] was absolutely clear that people should unpack their bags if they have them packed.’”

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