Decision on more supermarket restrictions to be announced next week

New restrictions look set to be announced next week for Wales (Image: REUTERS)

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Lockdown measures in Wales are being extended for a further three weeks and the Welsh Government is also looking at imposing further restrictions on supermarkets and shops that remain open.

Welsh First Minister Mark Drakeford confirmed current Alert Level 4 lockdown restrictions are set to be strengthened in "key areas", Wales Online reports.

Existing restrictions will remain in place for now, with the next review on January 29.

This means non-essential retail, hospitality venues, licensed premises and leisure facilities will remain closed, and people must stay home, work from home if they can, keep two metres from other people, wear face coverings in indoor public places and not meet anyone outside their household or support bubbles.

Ministers are looking at how safety at supermarkets, shops that are able to remain open, and workplaces can be improved with an announcement on their decision due early next week.

The measures will also be strengthened to close all showrooms, for example cars and furniture showrooms, although they will still be able to operate click-and-collect services.

Existing measures will remain in place until January 29 (stock photo)
(Image: AFP via Getty Images)

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Drakeford told BBC Breakfast: "We are looking at the work place with trade union and other colleagues to make sure workplaces are safe and we are looking at supermarkets and other places people leave their homes to look at if they are safe for staff and customers."

Asked about why further restrictions are not being made immediately, he said: "We are trying to do things in Wales through a system of social partnership.

"If we are going to tighten the regulations in relation to workplaces and supermarkets, we will want to do that through conversations with employers, with trade unions, with the people who work on the frontline.

"We will be making these decisions early next week. Decisions are informed by the views and experiences of the people who are doing these jobs. It leads to better decisions and it is worth waiting a few days to make sure we capture all of that."

Speaking later to BBC Wales, he said he wanted to make sure supermarkets were working in the same way they did during the first lockdown in March last year.

"If people go out shopping, I want to be confident that supermarkets are being run in Wales today in the way that they were being run back in March and April," he said.

New supermarket rules are being looked at
(Image: Getty)

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Drakeford added: "I want people to be confident that there are proper controls in the number of people entering supermarkets.

"That there are genuine efforts to make sure that supermarkets are policed in a way that allows people not to be bumping into one another and that when people come to the checkout it is carefully organised to help people's safety in the workplace as well.

"They are measures to protect people in the workplace and people as they go about their daily lives."

Sara Jones, head of the Welsh Retail Consortium, said: "Retailers continue to take coronavirus measures very seriously and consistently uphold high hygiene and safety standards. Firms have already invested hundreds of millions on safety measures including Perspex screens, additional cleaning, and implementing social distancing.

“We remind the public that it is vital they play their part: maintaining social distancing inside stores and outside; washing hands regularly; be considerate of fellow shoppers and staff members; and where possible, try to visit shops at quieter times.

“We will continue to work constructively and positively with the Welsh Government on Covid, and are open to discussing with them what further mitigation measures can be taken and the data and science underpinning their thinking."

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