Corner shops told not to sell chocolate Easter eggs as they are ‘non essential items’ – The Sun

CORNER shops have been instructed not to sell Easter eggs during the coronavirus pandemic as they are not considered “essential”.

Some local stores have reported being told to stop selling the seasonal chocolate treats by police and council authorities.

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It comes after Boris Johnson ordered all “non-essential” retailers to close amid the coronavirus outbreak to help stop the spread of the illness.

Newsagents and local convenience stores have been told they can remain open if they’re selling critical items including food and medicines.

However, the government hasn't specifically said what other items they can, or cannot, sell on top of this.

Other shops that are allowed to stay open during the new measures include supermarkets, pharmacies, banks and Post Offices.

What shops or premises are shut due to coronavirus?

  • Pubs
  • Clubs
  • Restaurants
  • Non-essential shops, including electronics and clothing stores
  • Hairdressers and nail salons
  • Indoor and outdoor markets, excluding food markets
  • Youth centres, libraries and community centres
  • Leisure centres, such as bowling alleys and soft play centres
  • Playgrounds, outdoor gyms and sport courts
  • Places of worship
  • Hotels, B&Bs, hostels  – unless key workers or permanent residents

Vets, pet shops, petrol stations, off licences, launderettes, banks and hardware stores will also keep doors open for customers.

James Lowman, chief executive of the Association of Convenience Stores (ACS), said the banning of Easter eggs is a "mis-reading of the rules" and said there is "no definition of which products can be sold".

Speaking first to the BBC, he said "only a few" members had been told to stop selling Easter eggs – but he didn't say exactly how many.

He said: “In the cases where officers have challenged retailers and shoppers in this way, it’s brought confusion, distracted retailers in the busiest weeks of their lives, and increased the interactions between people.

“Our published advice to retailers – that they can sell whatever they would normally be selling – can be relied on by anyone signed up to our assured advice scheme.”

The ACS goes on to advise convenience stores to contact them online if they're not sure what they're allowed to sell.

But Downing Street yesterday said that if shops were deemed essential and open, they can sell what they want.

A spokesman for the Prime Minister said: “We have set out which shops can remain open.

“If a shop is allowed to remain open it will of course, sell whatever items it has in stock.”

Martyn James, consumer expert at complaints tool Resolver, said: “Sticking to the rules in a crisis is important – but overreacting officials are eggs-asperating things for people just wanting to celebrate Easter.

“Buying an easter egg with the shopping isn't breaking the rules – and we all need a little cheering up right now.

“Hopefully, this is just a one-off incident from the fun police – or maybe they were just yolking…

“Either way, I hope common sense prevails and people are allowed an eggstra treat this Easter after all.”

Meanwhile, the coronavirus crisis has seen supermarkets accused of banning parents from bringing in their children as they impose social distancing rules.

Some supermarkets have introduced screens around checkouts to protect workers, plus they’re limiting key items so everyone can have access to goods.

Tesco has also just limited the overall number of items in online orders to 80.

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