Posted: Mon 22nd Jun 2020

Non essential shops reopening and the other new lockdown rule changes from today

News and Info from Deeside, Flintshire, North Wales
This article is old - Published: Monday, Jun 22nd, 2020

On March 23 Wales’ first minister Mark Drakeford said all high street shops, except those selling food, pharmacies, banks and post offices are to close due to the spread of coronavirus.

From today – 91 days after they were forced to close – those non-essential shops in Wales will now be able to re-open.

The move is one of a number of significant changes to lockdown rules as Wales takes another cautious step towards normality, all be it a ‘new normal.’ 

Retailers can resume trading if they have taken “all reasonable measures to comply with the physical distancing duty in Welsh law to reduce the spread of coronavirus and protect shop workers and shoppers.”

Marked queuing areas, widened pavements and, in some places, one-way pedestrian zones will be noticeable features in Flintshire towns from today.

Welsh Government guidelines say that indoor shopping should only be done alone or with the people you live with. 

“Meeting with people from other households is only allowed outdoors while maintaining 2 metres distance, as the risk of transmission of the virus is much greater indoors.”

You can only shop with people from other households outdoors, for example in outdoor markets  –  while still complying with social distancing practices.

The requirement to stay local and “not generally travelling more than 5 miles from home remains in place.”

The Welsh Government has said new guidance will make it clear people are able to travel outside their local area on compassionate grounds, such as seeing people at a care home or a youth offender institution.

“You may have compassionate reasons for visiting someone where that person is suffering from physical or mental illness; has suffered a bereavement or you are concerned about their wellbeing for other reasons, such as loneliness.” Guidance states. 

Welsh ministers are expected to lift the stay local requirement in two weeks’ time on 6 July “if the conditions permit this.”

Other changes being made include lifting the restrictions on outdoor sports courts.

From today, all outdoor sport and leisure facilities, with the exception of playgrounds and outdoor gyms are allowed to open.

Team sports, contact sports and large gatherings of people undertaking leisure or recreation activities are still not allowed.

The type of facilities that can now re-open, include:

  • outdoor tennis courts
  • outdoor bowling greens
  • outdoor basketball courts – you can play alone or with a member of your or one other household only.
  • outdoor golf driving ranges
  • outdoor cycling velodromes
  • outdoor athletics tracks
  • outdoor cricket nets

Restrictions on gatherings mean that sports facilities such as 5 a side football pitches cannot open. 

Explaining the reason as to why some outdoor activities are still not allowed, the Welsh Government says: “We are learning more about the virus every day and we know the risk of transmission is lower outdoors than indoors.

However, a lower risk doesn’t mean any risk. Even in these circumstances, it is vital we all maintain social distancing so we can continue to tackle the spread of this virus. 

Some outdoor facilities carry a greater risk of transmission where surfaces or equipment are shared between people, such as playgrounds and outdoor gyms. 

Enclosed, managed, sports pitches should remain closed until team sports can resume.”

The housing market can restart today, viewings will be allowed to take place in vacant properties and house moves where a sale has been agreed but not yet completed.

You can also visit an estate or letting agent, developer sales office or show home in connection with the purchase, sale or rental of an unoccupied property.

Places of worship are allowed to open today for private prayer, this includes prayer with members of the same household.

The Welsh Government said on Friday preparations are underway to safely reopen the visitor economy, including self-contained accommodation and outdoor attractions.

“A decision will be taken about this at the next review of the regulations on 9 July.  You will not be able to take a holiday in Wales until any change to the law is made. If a change to the law is made it is likely to take effect on 13 July.”

Hairdressers have also been told to use the next three weeks to make preparations to “resume services by appointment, only with all the necessary safeguards in place.”

Further Information:
Coronavirus regulations: changes from Monday 22 June
Staying local and social distancing

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