SUPERMARKET chains Aldi and Lidl have confirmed that they have paused selling items which are classified as non-essential while the country is at Level 5 of the Covid-19 restrictions.

Outlets of both Aldi and Lidl – who each have stores across Donegal – had resisted sealing off their ‘middle aisle’ sales last week after Ireland entered Level 5.

However, they have now given in after Government indicated a clampdown on any retailers who are flouting the guidelines.

This follows similar moves by Tesco and Dunnes, both of whom have outlets in Letterkenny, last weekend, when they sealed off clothing, hardware and home wear sections.

Gardaí have been tasked with ensuring compliance and this week representatives of some of Ireland’s leading grocery retailers met remotely with Minister of State Damian English.

“Specialbuy offers on essential products, such as Christmas food, beverage and DIY will continue to go on sale each Thursday and Sunday for our valued customers to ensure they can access the essential products they need,” Aldi said in a statement.

Similarly, Lidl said that they would not now be putting on sale items such as Christmas decorations, casual clothing and toys.

“We are also in the process of removing from sale any residual stock of previous non-essential promotions,” a spokesperson said.

“We will continue to sell items that are classed as essential eg for upkeep of residence and businesses, safety clothing, repair and maintenance of cars and bikes etc in our middle aisles.

“We hope to put any cancelled items on sale at a later date, in line with restrictions being lifted and customers can keep up to date through our social media channels and website.”

Shops which can open between now and the beginning of December – when the Level 5 restrictions are due to end – include supermarkets, pharmacies, health and hardware outlets, shops selling PPE and fuel providers.