Welsh Government health minister Vaughan Gething has issued a message to people going into supermarkets after a weekend which saw one man go into Tesco in his pants and another tear down tape and wrapping designed to stop shoppers buying non-essential items.

The weekend has been dominated by anger and debate around a Welsh Government policy which stops supermarkets from selling what are being described as non-essential goods. The policy only emerged on Thursday, a day before it was due to be implemented.

Two reasons were given for the policy: firstly, that it is not fair on smaller retailers forced to close that larger retailers could remain open and sell the same items and, secondly, that everything possible needed to be done to keep the transmission of coronavirus to a minimum.

But social media was awash with anger at the policy, with people insisting that many of the items being described as non-essential were, in fact, essential.

And in one instance, a man entered a Tesco branch in Bangor and began tearing down covers put in place to prevent access to non-essential items. In another, a man entered a Tesco in Newport wearing only his pants to "prove his point" that clothes were essential — he appeared on Good Morning Britain on Monday morning to explain his actions.

You can see that interview here:

In Monday afternoon's Welsh Government press briefing, Mr Gething had a message for those who had made, or were considering making, life more difficult for supermarket workers.

He said: "We will take action today so that retailers understand that our rules already allow people in acute need to buy the basics, which are essential to them over the next two weeks.

"But we also ask people to understand the very real crisis we are facing at the moment in Wales and to please treat people working in our shops with the respect they deserve."

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He went on: "Irresponsible behaviour won't help any of us. The people doing that need to look at what they are doing and people giving them the platform need to take a step back.

"They also need to reflect on the fact they are making life difficult for our shop workers who need to be treated with respect. I would ask everyone in Wales to play their part in reducing the number of lives that are lost."

The Welsh Government is to meet retailers this afternoon to review the regulations and guidance "to make sure it is being applied fairly and consistently".

In the meantime, cases of coronavirus have been rising in most local authority areas throughout October and there are now eight areas where the seven-day incidence rate is higher than 200 cases per 100,000 people

On Saturday there were a further five deaths, making last week one of the deadliest since the peak of the pandemic with more than 60 people dying as a result of the virus.