Supermarkets in Wales will have discretion to sell non-essential items in "exceptional circumstances", the Health Minister has said, following a major public backlash.

Vaughan Gething said supermarkets would be able to sell non-essential items to customers "in genuine need" during the so-called fire break lockdown.

Non-essential shops have been forced to close in Wales, like in the first lockdown in March.

However Wales' Labour Government also decided that retailers allowed to remain open could not sell goods deemed non-essential.

Shoppers were left bewildered when aisles were cordoned off and plastic sheets draped over items such as bedding and children's clothes.

Welsh Health Minister Vaughan Gething said ministers will discuss the guidance with retailers today

And Tesco was forced to apologise after it mistakenly told customers they could not buy sanitary products.

Mr Gething said allowing non-essential retailers to open would "undermine" the decision to put the country into lockdown.

But he told a press conference that ministers would meet retailers on Monday to review guidance to make sure it is being applied "fairly and consistently".

"If there are anomalies, we will look at whether the guidance needs to be revised or strengthened to make it clear that supermarkets have some discretion to sell to people who are in genuine need," he said.

He urged the public to apply common sense to their shopping - saying: "It's not about whether I want a new toaster. It's about what is the exceptional circumstance where that might be required."

Mr Gething said public health advice about the effectiveness of the firebreak would have to be "revisited" if non-essential retail was opened.

"If we want to unravel that now we'll be in a very different place, a less effective measure, and that's not what this government is going to do," he added.

Mr Gething said he was "saddened" to hear about the incident with Tesco where a woman was incorrectly told she could not buy sanitary products.

He said: "It's an incorrect reading of the regulations and the guidance. I am very sorry that this woman was given this information.

"Supermarkets are open and trading as are many other shops and are able to sell the wide range of everyday items that we all need.

"But there are some other items that won't be on sale for the next two weeks. These are items that other high street shops, which are currently closed, can't sell at the moment."

The Minister also slammed "irresponsible" behaviour by shoppers tearing down coverings hiding non-essential goods or turning up in their underwear.

He said: "People doing that need to look again at what they are doing and people giving them encouragement and a platform to do so with a divisive sort of political messaging need to think again.

"They also need to reflect on the fact that they are making life very difficult for our shop workers."

Shops closed and near deserted streets in Abergavenny on a normally busy Saturday lunchtime

Welsh Conservative health spokesperson Andrew RT Davies said the confusion was the result of a "barmy ban" on non-essential retail.

"This ludicrous policy has caused real anger and it's not fair on staff working in our supermarkets and the general Welsh public who are now at their wits' end with Labour ministers," he said.

"The Welsh Labour Government has rushed out a policy that was not even understood by the country's largest supermarket and that's the fault of the First Minister and his colleagues.

"This ban must be dropped today."

The row comes after Wales experienced one of the deadliest weeks since the start of the pandemic, with more than 60 people dying with Covid-19.

Public Health Wales will report a further six deaths later on Monday, Mr Gething said.

There are 616 confirmed cases of coronavirus in Welsh hospitals, the highest figure since May 24 and up 26% on last Sunday.

Fifty-six people are in critical care in Wales, an increase of 14%.

The Health Minister also refused to rule out a second fire break lockdown next year.

"I can't give you a guarantee about the position that we'll see at Christmas," he said.

"So I certainly can't forecast or get into a hypothetical answer about the new year."

On Sunday, Welsh Government Minister Lee Waters said another lockdown was likely in January or February.