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Wednesday 3rd June 2020

Coronavirus: Police tell corner shops to stop selling Easter eggs as they're not 'essential items'

Is chocolate an essential item?

Corner shops have been told by police to stop selling Easter eggs because they're not "essential items".

Aside from an hour of outdoor exercise, Brits are only allowed out to buy essential food and medical supplies during the COVID-19 pandemic.

And it seems some "overzealous" members of the police force have decided that Easter eggs just aren't essential.

"Overzealous" police have told corner shops to stop selling Easter eggs (Credit: Unplash)

The news will come as a blow to small retailers, less than two weeks before Easter Sunday.

Officers in several parts of the country have reportedly shocked retailers by trying to stop them from selling items they consider non-essential, including chocolate gifts.

Read more: Has the NHS banned alcohol amid COVID-19 crisis?

This is despite the fact there is no official guidance from the government.

The Association of Convenience Stores revealed some members have encountered "overzealous enforcement" of the lockdown regulations.

"Misreading of the rules"

Chief exec James Lowman told The Times: "This is a misreading of the rules."

Police said chocolate isn't an essential item (Credit: Unsplash)

He added: "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."

The government said police officers should use "their own discretion" when it came to enforcing the lockdown measures.

What a waste

"For goodness sake – they will already have them in stock and it's better to sell them than let them go to waste," said one Brit on Twitter.

"Lots of things are not 'essential' but we can still buy them," they added.

Another said: "If you're in a shop getting your essential bread and milk then where is the harm in popping a few Easter eggs in a basket?"

Read more: Holly Willoughby pays tribute to the NHS

They added: "If the police start deciding what is or isn't essential then this will all go to pot very quickly."

"Well I’ve bought mine. Are they going to come and confiscate? Appalling," another posted.

"They're not essential items"

Some agreed with the banning of Easter eggs, though.

One said: "Easter Eggs are not an essential food item, and I love chocolate."

However, a rep for Boris Johnson revealed: "If a shop is allowed to remain open, then it will of course sell whatever items it has in stock."

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