October 20, 2020
Specialist vape shops across Wales will close their doors for a second time after the Welsh government announced a “fire break” short-term lockdown.
From this Friday (23 October) at 6pm, all ‘non-essential’ retailers will be mandated to shut their doors alongside pubs and restaurants as the nation attempts to get on top of rising numbers of cases of coronavirus and related hospital admissions.
Reacting to the news, Doug Mutter, director of one of the UK’s biggest vape store chains, VPZ, said: “While we are very disappointed to be closing our doors for the next two weeks, we understand the health implications as to why.
“We have operated all our 150-plus stores across the UK within the current restrictions and have had no health impact issues as a result. This has been down to our staff implementing a strong hygiene policy which has supported our ability to serve our customers while ensuring staff and customers are protected at all time.”
With evidence emerging that hundreds of thousands of vapers may have been pushed back towards combustible cigarettes in 2020, the industry will be disappointed that vape stores have not been given permission to remain open, as has happened in countries such as the Netherlands and Italy.
Mutter said: “We believe that our stores have demonstrated their ability to operate in these conditions and have followed the rules and therefore accordingly we should be allowed to remain open. We hope businesses that have shown their commitment to following the guidance are given the appropriate business support over the coming weeks.”