Tesco tells woman that underwear is a non-essential item

A woman has criticised the lockdown rules in Wales after Tesco told her underwear was a non-essential item.

She said she needed to buy a new bra for work, and tweeted the retailer to ask them if this would be allowed so she didn’t make a wasted trip: ‘Wales has stopped people from buying clothes from your stores, but I’m in desperate need for a new bra for work. Am I allowed to purchase a set?’

A spokesperson responded:’ Hi Elle, We understand how frustrating these changes are for our Welsh customers.

‘However, we have been told by the Welsh Government not to sell these items for the duration of the lockdown.’

They added: ‘It would be a case of popping into your local Tesco store and seeing if my colleagues are able to help.’

After her tweet received a lot of attention, Elle updated her Twitter to say that she had actually managed to buy a bra from Tesco.

She said: ‘Please note that I got a new bra. I couldn’t shop online because I was in work all day today, therefore I couldn’t wait. Underwear may not be essential to you, but it is to me.’

There were no other shops selling bras nearby and she said she needed one too urgently be able to wait for one she bought online.

After going down to the shop, she said: ‘I purchased a bra. I had to tell them my size and style and they picked one out for me.’

Elle added after media coverage: ‘Well. Now a lot of people know I was desperate for a bra. So that’s great.’

Supermarkets in Wales are currently only allowed to sell essential items, such as food, baby products, pharmaceuticals, toiletries, pet food, and ‘personal care’ products due to the coronavirus lockdown.

But items deemed non-essential should be fenced off or covered up.

Welsh Government guidance says: ‘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.’

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