Hindu Vivek Kendra
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Corner shops told not to sell Easter eggs as some take lockdown rules too far

Author: Joe Roberts
Publication: Metro.co.uk
Date:  March 30, 2020
URL:      https://metro.co.uk/2020/03/30/corner-shops-told-not-sell-easter-eggs-take-lockdown-rules-far-12479003/

Corner shops have been ‘wrongly’ told to stop selling Easter eggs as local authorities go overboard with lockdown measures.

Some independent shop owners claim council officers have tried to tell them what they can and can’t sell, including chocolate eggs and hot cross buns, which were considered ‘non-essential’.

But the Association of Convenience Stores (ACS) accused officials of ‘misreading’ the rules and has now told its members to continue selling the Easter treats as normal.

ACS chief executive James Lowman said local enforcement officers had been ‘interpreting rules in their own way’ and taking ‘incorrect approaches’.

In a statement, Mr Lowman said: ‘The Government have defined which stores can remain open, and that includes convenience stores including newsagents and off-licences.

‘There is no Government definition of which products can be sold within those stores.

‘This is overzealous enforcement and a misreading of the rules.’

Government guidelines state that corner shops, newsagents and supermarkets are allowed to stay open during the pandemic, while businesses such as barbershops and restaurants should close.

Mr Lowman 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 at a time when the Government is trying to minimise them.’

An ACS spokesman said about four convenience stores reported that they had been ‘wrongly’ told by council environmental health officers to stop selling certain items which they deemed as non-essential.

The ACS, which represents more than 33,500 shops, said it had contacted Buckinghamshire and Surrey Trading Standards, which confirmed that convenience stores should continue to sell all available products as normal.

Mr Lowman added: ‘We advise any retailer facing this challenge to continue seeking their normal range, and to contact us with the name of the local authority or police force and officer so we can follow up with them.’

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