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Fury as Tesco tells woman she can’t buy period pads as they aren’t essential

Supermarket giant Tesco found itself in hot water on Monday morning when it told a woman trying to purchase sanitary products in Wales that she could not do so because they were not essential.

A woman named Katie took to Twitter to ask why she was unable to buy period pads at her local supermarket but could still splash out on booze.

She asked: "@Tesco can you explain why I was told today that I can't buy PERIOD PADS as I'm sure they are essential to women?!! But I can buy alcohol it doesn't make sense."

And in a response that has since been deleted, the supermarket responded : "Hi Katie. We understand how frustrating these changes will be for our Welsh customers. However, we have been told by the Welsh government not to sell these items for the duration of the firebreak lockdown."

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The Welsh government has currently placed a "firebreak" lockdown on the entire country to ease the spread of Covid-19 there.

In a bid to level the playing field for smaller independent businesses, part of the lockdown involved supermarkets and chains that have been allowed to remain open being limited to only selling essential items.

But the Welsh government was quick to intervene on Twitter and insist sanitary products were indeed essential.

Its official Twitter account responded to Tesco's first Tweet: "This is wrong – period products are essential. Supermarkets can still sell items that can be sold in pharmacies. Only selling essential items during firebreak is to discourage spending more time than necessary in shops. It should not stop you accessing items that you need."

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Not long after this Tesco's Tweet was deleted.

The supermarket then posted another statement claiming the first message had been posted in error as a boilerplate response to people asking why they could not purchase certain products.

It tweeted: "Good Morning Katie – thanks for getting in touch and please accept my apologies for the confusion caused by my colleagues' earlier reply.

"This is a response we're using when challenged on products that we have been asked to restrict by the Welsh government."

But people were not pleased, with many pointing out that the fact alcohol had been sold by the supermarket without anyone batting an eyelid proved , as one Twitter user put it, that "these rules have been drawn up by a man".

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