Council demand Tesco's shut off 'non-essential aisles' in regulations row

Supermarket Tesco and Hounslow Council are in a row regarding closing down non-essential aisles in the store.

Council demand Tesco’s shut off ‘non-essential aisles’ in regulations row: Following an inspection of the store the council issued a prohibition notice demanding the first floor is closed to customers. Council leader Steve Curran said it should be closed during the lockdown. As it sells clothing and ‘non-essential items’. Tesco’s are appealing the notice as it doubts the council’s right to insist on the partial closure. Councillor Curran said. “At a time when Hounslow has among the highest levels of COVID-19 in London. It is vital we continue to take action to protect public health wherever we find concerns.

In this case, because Government guidance advises that where areas selling essential goods are separate to those selling non-essential goods. Access to the non-essential goods should be restricted. We have required the shop to restrict sale of non-essential goods on the first floor of the superstore. Access is still allowed to the café for a takeaway service.

Our view is that Tesco’s actions go against the spirit of the law in allowing shoppers to shop for the non-essential goods. We recognise that Tesco is a responsible retailer and would have hoped to see them working in line with government guidance. Not in opposition to it. Tesco do not agree with the position we have taken. That is their right and they have exercised their right of appeal. While that is ongoing it would not be appropriate to comment further.” He went on to add. “We would ask Hounslow’s residents though, to undertake only essential shopping.

Browsing clothes is not essential. Please stay at Home, Protect the NHS and save lives.”

Specific guidance rules for supermarkets during the lockdown say “A business selling a significant amount of essential retail may also continue to sell goods typically sold at non-essential retail. For example, a supermarket that sells food is not required to close off or cordon off aisles selling home wear.” A Tesco spokesperson said “The safety of our customers and colleagues is our number one priority. We believe that our Osterley Extra store complies with the government’s rules on Covid-19 measures and we were disappointed to receive this notice, which we are appealing.”


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