Torfaen Welsh Parliament representative Lynne Neagle MS has today urged Welsh Government to “really drive home” the need for social distancing in supermarkets.
The MS used a question to the First Minister to flag her concerns at the failure of some supermarkets to observe social distancing regulations in Wales.
Lynne Neagle, who acknowledged the efforts of local councils to enforce the regulations, said the issue had been a source of continued concern to herself and her constituents.
She said: “I’d like to ask you for an update today on Welsh Government efforts to really drive home that message to supermarkets, particularly the larger ones like Tesco, which seem to have forgotten that we are in a pandemic – or so it appears.”
In reply, the First Minister said: “I, too, have seen a rise in the number of concerns raised directly with the Welsh Government by people who feel that some supermarkets have retreated too quickly from some of the safeguards they had in place earlier in the pandemic. It is by no means a universal picture; many supermarkets continue to work very hard to make sure that their premises are properly organised with staff on hand to assist and people reminded of the need to behave in a way that doesn’t put other people at risk.
“But that clearly is not universal given the postbag I have seen and the points that Lynne Neagle has made. As a result of that, our colleague Lesley Griffiths wrote again to supermarkets at the start of this week reminding them of what the law requires here in Wales. As the Member will know, it’s a bit of a continuous battle to remind some organisations that operate beyond Wales that the law in Wales can be different, and their legal obligations here are of exactly the same order as they would be if those regulations were made elsewhere. Lesley Griffiths has a meeting—one of her regular meetings—with the supermarket group that we work with here in Wales later this afternoon, and she will be reinforcing those points with them again there.”