In a tweet later deleted, the supermarket chain told an angry customer that it was told by the Welsh government not to sell those items for the duration of the firebreak lockdown.
“We understand how frustrating these changes will be for our Welsh customers. However, we have been told by the Welsh Government not to sell these items for the duration of the firebreak lockdown,” the FTSE 100 firm said on Twitter.
The government noted that Tesco’s statement was “wrong” and supermarkets are allowed to sell items found in pharmacies.
“Only selling essential items during firebreak is to discourage spending more time than necessary in shops. It should not stop you accessing items that you need,” a spokesperson commented.
Meanwhile, the Welsh government has been pressured to review the ban of non-essential items in supermarkets while the petition to scrap it was the largest it ever received, with 34,000 signatures.
Photos on social media have shown shelves wrapped in plastic so that customers wouldn’t access the non-essential products, while there have been videos of frustrated people ripping it off.
“We’ll be reviewing how the weekend has gone with the supermarkets and making sure that common sense is applied,” First Minister Mark Drakeford commented on Saturday.
“Supermarkets can sell anything that can be sold in any other type of shop that isn’t required to close. In the meantime, please only leave home if you need to.”
Last Friday, Wales entered a two-week ‘firebreak’ lockdown which will last until Monday, November 9 to curb the increasing COVID-19 restrictions.
Under the plan, non-essential shops had to shut, while supermarkets were ordered to limit the products on offer to only essential items.