THE news revealed today by first minister Mark Drakeford that all non-essential shops will be able to reopen from Monday has been rumoured for more than a week, and Gwent’s local authorities have been preparing.

This is what the councils are doing to make sure that from Monday, Gwent’s high streets will be tackling “the new normal” successfully.


Leader of the council Cllr Jane Mudd has said the council has “developed an action plan to support and guide the safe reopening of the economy” in the city.

“The plan has a clear focus on the economic rationale but strongly acknowledges that economic recovery can only be achieved by firstly ensuring commercial areas are as safe and secure as possible,” she said.

Practical measures being introduced by the council to support this include social distancing solutions for retail areas and transport hubs, one-way systems and footway widening, anti-viral treatment of high frequency touch points such as handrails, bins, push buttons and seating, and enhanced cleansing of council car parks.


From Monday, Torfaen County Borough Council (CBC) will be launching its own five-week marketing campaign to showcase what the region has to offer.

Pontypool Indoor Market is set to reopen on Thursday, June 25, and will be a big part of this push to encourage residents to shop locally.

Socially distanced queuing systems have been put in place in Cwmbran town centre, and for smaller traders in Pontypool and Blaenavon, business advisors will be in town on the day of reopening to help design queueing systems.

Joanne Gauden, executive member for economy, skills and regeneration, said: “We have put measures in place to ensure our high streets are safe places to shop, and we want to make sure shoppers are aware of this. Safety is our top priority. Please shop local and support your local traders.”



In Abergavenny, Chepstow, Magor and Monmouth there will be stencilled social distancing signage on pavements, barriers, reduced speed limits, and trial road closures or one-way systems.

In Caldicot there will be enhanced restrictions within the existing pedestrianised area.

In Usk there will be traffic light controls on Bridge Street to create a single carriageway and allow for widened pedestrian areas.

Cllr Bob Greenland, cabinet member for enterprise, said: “Independent businesses have faced major challenges since lockdown was announced so we want to give them as much support possible as they work towards reopening."

Blaenau Gwent

Deputy leader Cllr Dai Davies said: "We are working with businesses to understand their needs and tailor any additional support for them wherever possible."

The council said that its main priorities will include identifying any potential Welsh Government funding opportunities, taking advantage of technology, and helping with marketing town centres.

"Blaenau Gwent’s town centres are a vital and important part of our community and I encourage our residents to stay safe and shop local to help our traders thrive again as we start the process of economic recovery," Mr Davies added.


Caerphilly CBC is also starting its own shop local campaign, and has waived car park charges until the end of the year.

"We are encouraging the whole community to support retailers to help them recover from this very difficult time for the local economy," said Cllr Philippa Marsden, leader of the council.

"I’m sure our decision to offer temporary free parking will also be widely welcomed and provide a real boost for businesses."

Measures implemented from Monday will include new signage, social distance markings, and one way pedestrian routes.