Shops in Wales reopen their doors for first time since lockdown began

Credit: Cardiff Council

Shops across Wales have thrown open their doors to welcome customers back for the first time in months.

From today all non-essential retail shops are allowed to reopen as long as they follow social distancing rules.

Last week saw people queuing early in the morning in England as shops in the country reopened.

In Cardiff, it was a quieter start to the morning. One of the biggest draws to high streets when they reopened in England was Primark, but the company said it won't reopen its stores in Wales until Friday.

Preparations for a return of shoppers in the capital included road markings reminding people to maintain social distancing and one-way systems for pedestrians.

Welcome points will offer information to visitors on the new systems put in place.

Manager of the Morgan Quarter, Rory Fleming, is confident businesses in Cardiff's arcades will once again thrive.

The arcades have introduced one-way systems and hand sanitiser stations.

''These arcades have been around for centuries and there's a lot of resilience within these arcades,'' Rory said.

''They've seen two world wards, they've seen the last pandemic with Spanish flu back in 1920 and they're still here.

''These arcades will flourish again after this pandemic is over.''

Key questions as shops reopen:

Can I go shopping with my friends?

  • Meeting with people from other households is only allowed outdoors while maintaining 2m distance, as the risk of transmission of the virus is much greater indoors. So you can only shop with people from other households outdoors, for example in outdoor markets (while still complying with social distancing practices). Indoor shopping should only be done alone or with people you live with.

What if I’m shielding, can I go to the shops?

  • The Welsh Government does not advise going to shops if you are shielding.

Can I travel as far as I want to go to the shops?

  • The legal requirement to stay local remains in place for the time being. As a rule of thumb this generally means not travelling more than five miles from home. Ministers have said they will lift this on 6 July if conditions allow.

Despite Welsh Government advice to stay local, Economy Minister Ken Skates said on Sunday that it is ''entirely reasonable'' to travel more than five miles to reach retail centres.