Wales is currently under a 17-day ‘firebreak’ lockdown in order to curb the spread of coronavirus. And, in order to prevent people from lingering in the grocery store, only essential items are now available for purchase.
However, what is considered essential has definitely caused some controversy among residents and many have gone to extreme measures to protest the new rules.
Chris Noden, has even attempted to enter a Tesco store wearing solely underwear and a mask after clothes were deemed as non-essential items. However, the daring 38-year-old was taken away by security guards. Noden’s wife Dawn, who filmed the encounter, can be heard in the background stating:
Clothes are non-essential — let him in.
The new shopping restriction has seen grocery stores such as Tesco cordoning off many areas filled with appliances, accessories and clothes with barricades and plastic wrap. However, the gatekeeping of what is considered to be essential has been questioned by many.
Dawn can be heard in the video talking to the security workers:
Your store’s policy says clothes are non-essential. Let him buy some clothes. This is beyond ridiculous. There are children out there growing that need clothes.
However, the guards replied by claiming that Noden was simply not dressed appropriately:
He’s not appropriately dressed. Go and take it up with the government. You can’t come in dressed like that.
The protesting pair then asked the security workers if they believed that clothes were an essential day to day item to which even theft replied with a resounding yes. The video was then posted online where Dawn added:
Please note that no lockdown rules were broken, nobody was put at risk, this non-essentials list is beyond a joke! Clothes aren’t essential are they Mr Drakeford. Chocolate, sugar, alcohol and tobacco all classed as essential items?
This is also not the first time Tesco has come underfire amongst the new rule change after preventing a woman from buying sanitary products. The company blamed the government for ruling out the items as essential, however, the Welsh government replied stating that it was simply ‘not true.’
Currently, a petition against the current ‘essential items’ rule has surpassed over 60,000 signatures. Since the implementation of the rule, First Minister Mark Drakeford has since claimed that what is considered essential is now up to the discretion of each store:
I won’t need — I don’t think — to buy clothing over these two weeks and I think many, many people in Wales will be in that position too. For me, it won’t be essential. But I recognise that there will be some people who for entirely unexpected reasons which they couldn’t have foreseen will need to buy items. In those circumstances where those welfare reasons are at stake, we will make sure that our supermarkets understand they have the discretion to apply the rules differently.
Check out the video above to witness Chris and Dawn’s bold encounter!