Baby and Childrenswear retail should be included as essential in the new covid guidelines.

Baby and Childrenswear retail should be included as essential in the new covid guidelines.

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Crystal Young started this petition to UK Parliament and

As laid out by the Uk Government on 31st October 2020, to take effect from November 6th, the following will close: 

"all non-essential retail, including, but not limited to clothing and electronics stores, vehicle showrooms, travel agents, betting shops, auction houses, tailors, car washes, tobacco and vape shops.
indoor and outdoor leisure facilities such as bowling alleys, leisure centres and gyms, sports facilities including swimming pools, golf courses and driving ranges, dance studios, stables and riding centres, soft play facilities, climbing walls and climbing centres, archery and shooting ranges, water and theme parks,
entertainment venues such as theatres, concert halls, cinemas, museums and galleries, casinos, adult gaming centres and arcades, bingo halls, bowling alleys, concert halls, zoos and other animal attractions, botanical gardens;
personal care facilities such as hair, beauty and nail salons, tattoo parlours, spas, massage parlours, body and skin piercing services, non-medical acupuncture, and tanning salons.
Food shops, supermarkets, garden centres and certain other retailers providing essential goods and services can remain open. Essential retail should follow COVID-secure guidelines to protect customers, visitors and workers.

Non-essential retail can remain open for delivery to customers and click-and-collect"

(Taken directly from the government website here: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/new-national-restrictions-from-5-november#businesses-and-venues

This petition is to ask the government to urgently reconsider asking the baby and childrenswear industry to close for business. 

While I agree adult clothing is not an essential purchase at this time, Babies and Children's clothes and shoes are considered by any parent, grandparent or relative of a child to be an essential item at all times, due to the rapid growth rate of a child. Speaking on a personal level, both of my children regularly outgrew their sleepwear over the space of one night, on many occasions. 

Please note the frequency of babies growth spurts as outlined by the NHS here:

"Growth spurts can occur at any time but are common at around 10 days, and 3, 6 and 12 weeks."

(Taken from here: https://www.iow.nhs.uk/Downloads/Health%20Visiting_School%20Nursing/GROWTH%20SPURTS%20AND%20LEAPS2.pdf

According to the government office for statistics website, There were 640,370 live births in England and Wales in 2019, working out at an average of 1,754 babies being born every day, meaning that every day of the year a potential of 1,754 babies could suddenly, unexpectedly and unarguably need new clothing. This, I and any other parent would consider as a huge difference in the adult clothing retail industry and baby and childrenswear retail industry. 

It is also worth noting that a lot of baby and childrenswear retail businesses also sell many other essentials aside from clothing. For example shoes, and socks, these are equally as rapidly grown out of and are considered by all a basic necessity for daily life. Some also stock towels, blankets and even bottles, feeding aids, nappies and other essential, daily items. And finally, one that cannot be ignored, premature babies clothes. With so many babies born early or smaller than expected, these vital garments are surely to be considered essential also?

The final part to my petition, is something that cannot be ignored. The Uk Government itself has already deemed Baby and Children's clothes, shoes and some items such as hooded towels and shawls to be essential items within their VAT regulations, by setting them out as zero rated.

"1.4 The conditions for zero rating
You may zero rate your supply when all of the following 4 conditions are met, it must:

be an article of clothing or footwear
not be made of fur
be designed for young children
only be suitable for young children"

"2.2.1 Baby clothing
Most items of baby wear, such as bonnets, bootees and matinee jackets, can be clearly recognised as clothing, but the following less obvious items are also considered to be ‘articles of clothing’:

bibs, including plastic bibs with a curved tray at the base
hooded rain covers for pushchairs, provided they’re suitable for the baby to wear as a rain cape when out of the pushchair
nappies (and nappy liners), both disposable and reusable, provided they’re held out for sale to be used only for babies and young children
babies’ shawls, provided they’re designed and held out as such
padded sleeping garments, similar in construction to sleeping bags, but shaped at the neck and armholes or having sleeves or legs
towelling bathrobes designed with a hood or sleeves enabling the baby to be wrapped in them as a garment"

(Taken from here on the Government Website:https://www.gov.uk/guidance/vat-on-young-childrens-clothing-and-footwear-notice-714

So finally, Babies will not stop being born at this time, Children will not stop growing at this time. Making sure that parents have continued access to clothes, shoes and other vital items that are comfortable, safe and an undeniable necessity, even more so as we head in to the cold winter months, bringing the need for basic child welfare garments such as coats, snowsuits and boots, cannot be overlooked. 

It is also worth noting that our particular sector takes meticulous care to follow the covid safe shopping guidelines. Regular cleaning, limits on shoppers allowed to enter and strict quarantine rules on returns. 

I urge for your consideration and support in this matter immediately. 

 

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