Man goes shopping in his boxer shorts to protest non-essential item sale ban

Newport, UK - A went to a Welsh supermarket wearing just his boxer shorts on Saturday to protest against government restrictions on the sale of non-essential items.

A man walked into a supermarket in Newport wearing only his underwear, since clothes were "non-essential".
A man walked into a supermarket in Newport wearing only his underwear, since clothes were "non-essential".  © 123RF/Olga Yastremska

Measures came introduced by the Welsh authorities came into force amid a new coronavirus lockdown, which began at 6pm on Friday, blocking supermarkets from selling "non-essential" products such as clothing and appliances. Meanwhile, alcohol and tobacco have been deemed essential goods.

Christopher Noden, from the town of Newport, said he wanted to prove the point that clothes were indeed essential, as Wales Online reported. 

In a video that went viral on Facebook, the 38-year-old can be seen walking into a store wearing only his boxer shorts and a face mask. 

His wife Dawn is with him and she tells the security staff: "Your store’s policy says clothes are non-essential. Let him buy some clothes."

But the security guard tells her that Noden is "not appropriately dressed" and can't go in. 

Dawn then asks the guard whether clothes were essential for daily life, to which he replies: "Of course they are."

New restrictions have been met with opposition

The new "firebreak" lockdown forced non-essential retail, including clothing shops, furniture stores, and car dealers, to shut down. The decision that supermarkets should not sell non-essential items was the government's effort to remain fair to those businesses that have to remain closed. 

The move has been met with opposition by some and more than 64,000 people have put their names to a petition calling for the restrictions to be lifted.

The first minister of Wales, Mark Drakeford, said that the ban on selling non-essential items will be reevaluated.

While he may have been barred from entering the store, Christopher Noden certainly grabbed the government's attention and got his point across: clothes are essential.

Cover photo: 123RF/Olga Yastremska

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