Portugal: Supermarkets banned from selling books, clothes, decorative objects

Supermarkets and hypermarkets in Portugal will be prevented from selling non-food items, such as clothing, books and decorative objects, the minister of economy said on Friday.

The law that will limit the sale of some products in stores is due to be published on Friday and will come into force next week, giving the sector time to remove them from the shelves.

“We have ordered the closure of several commercial activities, of retail shops and what is planned is that it will be possible to limit sales in supermarkets or hypermarkets, large food distribution shops, the type of products that are sold in the shops whose closure is determined” in the new general lockdown, Siza Vieira said on Thursday.

The minister for economic affairs, who was speaking at a joint press conference with the minister for culture to present support measures for companies whose activities are suspended by legal or administrative order due to the new general confinement starting at midnight on Friday, said that the measure was currently being regulated and would take effect from the beginning of next week.

Siza Vieira said there would be a ban on decoration products, sports, books or textiles, i.e. articles sold in retail shops which have to close their doors from Friday.

The government also said that the law should be published on Friday to give time to supermarkets and similar shops to remove from their shelves the products whose sale will be banned, but pointed out that all companies can maintain their online sales.

“These public health measures cannot be market-distorting measures,” he said.

Compliance with this measure will be monitored by the Food and Economic Safety Authority (ASAE).