On Sunday, Wales’ First Minister Mark Drakeford said supermarkets across the country have “discretion” over the ban on selling non-essential items during the nation’s firebreak lockdown.
But on Monday morning, several shoppers took to Twitter to express their fury at the move from Tesco.
One wrote: “What the actual hell @Tesco? How are sanitary products not essential?”
Tesco’s Twitter account replied: “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.”
Tesco has since deleted this tweet and apologised, adding the issue was localised to one store and was being urgently rectified.
A spokesperson said: “Sanitary products are essential items and are available to customers in all of our stores in Wales.
Tesco has said the Welsh Government has told it to stop selling sanitary products during lockdown
Mark Drakeford said supermarkets have ‘discretion’ over the ban on selling non-essential items during the firebreak lockdown
Tesco sparked outrage among Twitter users
“Due to a break-in, this area was closed temporarily in one store for a police investigation, but is now open again.
“The reply to this customer, which implied these products were non-essential, was sent by mistake and we’re very sorry for any confusion caused.”
“The reply to this customer was sent by mistake and we’re very sorry for any confusion caused.”
Another person had tweeted: “@Tesco can you explain why I was told today that I can’t buy PERIOD PADS as I’m sure they are essential to women?
“But I can buy alcohol? It doesn’t make sense.”
The Welsh Government denied this was the case, and replying to the tweet, wrote: “This is wrong – period products are essential.
“Supermarkets can still sell items that can be sold 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.”
The Welsh Government quickly tried to defuse the situation
Vaughan Gething said ‘the rules never prevented period products being sold’
A second person posted pictures of the area of a Tesco supermarket selling sanitary products cordoned off.
She wrote alongside this: “I’m literally raging & in tears.
“@Tesco how the hell is beer essential and PERIOD PRODUCTS are Non essential!!!!
“@WelshGovernment this is RIDICULOUS.”
Piers Morgan lashed out at the Welsh Government, and tweeted: “This is ridiculous.
“No wonder the public are losing faith in Govt.”
But Health Minister Vaughan Gething replied: “It’s not true @piersmorgan.
“The rules never prevented period products being sold and @Tesco have deleted their tweet.”
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