Covid: Queues form ahead of last-minute lockdown

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Sun Dec 20, 2020 4:30 am

Covid: Queues form ahead of last-minute lockdown


Shop owners have rushed to get orders out to customers as shoppers raced to pick up Christmas presents before Wales headed into lockdown.

From Sunday all non-essential shops are closed as a Wales-wide "stay-at-home" lockdown begins.

Following the announcement at 17:00 GMT on Saturday some shops reopened and queues formed outside.

But First Minister Mark Drakeford urged people "not to rush" on the shops.

"As we move to alert level four in Wales most shops must close but supermarkets will remain open, and click and collect will be available," he said.

"The best gift we can give our loved ones this year is a coronavirus-free Christmas."

Since the start of the coronavirus pandemic in March many retailers have seen their doors closed for months on end under restrictions.

Following Saturday's announcement shoppers were seen queuing down the road at toy shops in Swansea, and Llandudno.

In Carmarthenshire a number of independent shops reopened their doors after their usual closing time in a bid to get customers their presents in time
for Christmas.

Before the new restrictions came into force, many had been preparing for the last few days of Christmas sales.

'I didn't know what to do'
When Mair Jones shut up her shop in Carmarthen on Saturday evening she went home for dinner ahead of an expected packed day of customers
ahead of the Christmas break.

But just hours later, the owner of a children's shoe shop was back in, rushing to fit infants with their first shoes ahead of the midnight cut-off.

"I was eating my supper and then I heard the announcement," she said. "I didn't know what to do."

Ms Jones, who owns Esgidiau Cic Shoes, said she was inundated with calls from customers who were scheduled for fittings in the coming days and
so reopened the shop, with customers bringing in their children in their pyjamas.

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