Leo Varadkar says supermarkets in Ireland not allowed to sell clothes and toys during Level 5 lockdown
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Leo Varadkar says supermarkets in Ireland not allowed to sell clothes and toys during Level 5 lockdown

SUPERMARKETS ARE prohibited from selling clothes and toys during Ireland’s Level 5 lockdown, Tánaiste Leo Varadkar has confirmed.

Under the new restrictions, all non-essential retails outlets have been required to close.

Only shops selling essential items like food and medicine are allowed to stay open.

In Wales, essential retailers like supermarkets have also been prohibited from selling non-essential items to customers.

Speaking on RTE Radio One’s This Week, Varadkar confirmed a similar approach must be adopted in Ireland.

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He warned that it is now illegal to stock and sell non-essential items, with any outlets found to be in breach by Gardai in line for serious punishment.

The Business and Enterprise Minister explained that the logic behind the ban was that to allow sales of these kind to continue would be unfair on the shops that were forced to close.

“[Retailers] need to abide by regulations and you need to abide by the spirit of the regulations,’ he explained.

“If you are a mixed retailer, you should separate your stock and only sell items that are essential.

“If you are a supermarket or a big store that has groceries and clothes, you should separate off the clothes and not sell them. Workwear is ok but general clothing [is] not.

“We have been in touch with the Gardai and that will be enforced.

“If [shops] are selling PPE that is one thing. But if they’re trying to use PPE in order to sell other products, that is a very different thing.

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“If you’re selling essential products that is one thing. If you are trying to use essential products as a means of opening your store to sell non-essential products, that is not ok.

‘That is not lawful and we will bring an enforcement action.

“It is also unfair. Think of the number of small shops and retailers around the country that have had to close.”

The Tánaiste added that he was “confident” the current laws and regulations in place will ensure Gardai have the powers to deal with any retailers selling non-essential items.

He did warn, however, that further laws would be brought in, if any they encounter any significant issues.