// The ban on supermarkets in Wales selling non-essential items such as books and DVDs is being lifted from today
// Supermarkets aisles taped off to stop customers buying non-essential goods can now remove it
// Garden centres are also now allowed to open for the first time this year
The ban on supermarkets in Wales selling non-essential items is being lifted from today as the country slowly moves out of lockdown.
All non-essential retail was ordered to close on Christmas Eve last year as Wales entered alert level 4, but shops selling essential items such as food could remain open.
It meant supermarkets continued to trade but they were banned from selling anything not deemed essential, such as books, DVDs and toys.
- Wales to “gradually” lift lockdown on non-essential retailers from March 22
- Scotland to ease lockdown for non-essential retailers from April 26
- Northern Ireland to allow return of click-and-collect from April 1
Aisles were taped off to stop customers buying non-essential goods, but this ban is now being lifted.
Garden centres are also now allowed to open for the first time this year.
It is part of a more cautious approach being adopted by the Welsh Government in leaving lockdown due to the emergence of the highly-infectious Kent variant of the virus.
It has warned that if there are strong signs of a growth in infections, relaxations may need to be slowed, paused or reversed.
On March 27 the “stay local” travel requirement will be lifted, which will move Wales from alert level 4 to 3.
Ahead of the Easter holidays, from March 27 self-contained accommodation will be allowed to resume business, libraries will reopen and organised outdoor children’s activities can resume.
From April 12 there will be a full return to schools, colleges and other education settings, and all other non-essential shops will reopen and close contact services can resume.
If infection rates remain stable or continue to fall, ministers will decide on April 22 whether to allow gyms and leisure centres, outdoor attractions, outdoor hospitality, weddings and organised indoor and outdoor activities to resume.
The plan to ease lockdown will be revisited after every eligible adult has been offered a vaccination, which is scheduled to be by the end of July.
with PA Wires