AT 6PM TODAY, many traders across Gwent will shut down their businesses for the next fortnight in line with the so-called 'fire break' or 'circuit break' lockdown that is being introduced in Wales.

The new rules have thrown up lots of questions for business owners and shoppers alike.

Which types of businesses have to close?

Which ones can stay open with exceptions?

Which ones can stay open throughout the next two weeks?

Here's our guide to what the Welsh Government's latest Health Protection Regulations mean for traders:

­— Businesses that must close

The Welsh Government rules state the following businesses must close down during the 'circuit break' lockdown:

  • Shops – including markets, homeware stores, garden centres and plant nurseries, hair salons and barbers, nail and beauty salons, tanning and/or massage services, piercing and/or tattoo studios, electrolysis and/or acupuncture services, auction houses, car dealerships, and betting shops
  • Shopping centres and shopping arcades – unless they have to stay open for access to businesses that can stay open (for example, a shopping centre with a supermarket inside it)
  • Cinemas
  • Theatres
  • Nightclubs, discos, dance halls and any other venue where music is provided for people to dance
  • Sexual entertainment venues, such as strip clubs, where the entertainment is provided for a live audience
  • Bingo halls
  • Concert halls
  • Casinos
  • Skating rinks
  • Swimming pools
  • Leisure centres and facilities including indoor fitness studios, gyms and spas
  • Sports courts, skate parks, bowling greens, golf courses and all enclosed sports grounds or pitches (indoor and outdoor)
  • Bowling alleys, amusement arcades and indoor play areas
  • Museums, galleries and archive services
  • Funfairs, amusements parks and theme parks
  • Visitor attractions and holiday, leisure activity or events businesses
  • Recycling centres
  • Libraries
  • Estate or letting agents, developer sales offices, and show homes
  • Venues for events or conferences (including wedding venues other than places of worship and registry offices)

­— Businesses that can stay open

The Welsh Government rules state the following businesses are allowed to remain open during the 'circuit break' lockdown:

  • Food retailers – including food markets, supermarkets, convenience stores, corner shops and establishments selling food or drink for consumption off the premises. This includes premises authorised for the sale or supply of alcohol for consumption off the premises
  • Cafes and canteens at a hospital, care home, school, or within accommodation provided for students
  • Canteens at a prison or an establishment intended for use for naval, military or air force purposes or for
  • the purposes of the Department of the Secretary of State responsible for defence.
  • Hospital libraries and libraries at educational establishments
  • Newsagents
  • Building supplies and hardware stores
  • Pharmacies (including non-dispensing pharmacies) and chemists
  • Bicycle shops
  • Petrol stations
  • Car repair and MOT services
  • Taxi or vehicle hire businesses
  • Banks, building societies, credit unions, short-term loan providers, savings clubs, cash points, currency exchange offices, money transfer offices.
  • Post offices
  • Laundrettes and dry cleaners
  • Dental services, opticians, audiology services, chiropody, chiropractors, osteopaths and other medical or health services, including services relating to mental health
  • Vet clinics and pet shops
  • Agricultural or aquacultural supplies shops
  • Livestock markets or auctions
  • Funeral directors

­— Businesses that can stay open for limited reasons

  • Restaurants, cafes, bars, and pubs – these can stay open if they are selling food and/or drink for takeaway, or if they are providing food/drink to the homeless. Venues can also open to carry out maintenance or repairs. Hotel room service and workplace canteens can continue running.
  • Holiday sites, camping sites, hotels, B&Bs, and other holiday accommodation – these can stay open for anyone who is already staying there and cannot return home. They can also continue communications and are allowed to carry out maintenance or repairs. They can also be opened if the authorities acquisition them for any purpose.
  • Places of worship – these can open for funerals and the solemnization of a marriage or civil partnership. They can also continue to provide "essential voluntary services" and public services like food banks, childcare or blood donations.
  • Community centres – these can stay open for "essential voluntary services" or for services if requested by the local authority or Welsh Government ministers.
  • Crematoriums – these can stay open for funerals and burials only.