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Your local high street – FAQs

What’s open?

Following government guidelines, Monmouthshire’s “non-essential” retail businesses re-opened on Monday 12th April, with outdoors hospitality open from Monday 26th April 2021. Indoor hospitality is expected to reopen from 17th May 2021, subject to case rates remaining low.

Most shops and high streets across the county were required to close when the government introduced lockdown measures in order to control the spread of the COVID-19 virus.

Shoppers are be encouraged to return to their local high streets, while keeping to the current guidance on social distancing etc. This is vital for shop owners, who need Monmouthshire residents to help get their businesses back on their feet by shopping locally.

But as the threat of the virus has not passed yet, Monmouthshire County Council, together with town councils, has been working with local businesses and organisations to ensure that people can keep safe while they’re out and about. 

What are you doing to keep people safe? 

Monmouthshire County Council has been working with Town Councils and Community Councils across the county. Work has taken place to introduce various measures on the high street designed to help shoppers stay safe: a temporary widening of pavements, new outdoor seating areas (parkletts), stencilled pavement markings, some barriers and signs around busy areas, including bus stops, helping people to observe social-distancing.  

Where enlarged pedestrian areas are provided, existing kerblines will be painted red to assist the visually impaired with knowing there is a level drop. 

The measures being introduced will vary according to each town, according to its layout and facilities. 

We’ve worked with businesses across the area to offer support, guidance and resources on how to keep customers safe. We are also providing distance markers and signage for local businesses to use, as well as the most up-to-date guidance from Welsh Government and Public Health Wales. 

Are car parks open?

We recommend cycling or walking to your high street whenever possible. However, council-run car-parks are open. Most of our towns and villages have at least one free car park close to the town centre, for example Byefield car park in Abergavenny, the southern end of the leisure centre car park in Chepstow, and Rockfield Road in Monmouth.   

When using the ticket machines, please keep your distance from others when waiting to pay.  The machines will be cleaned frequently, however customers may wish to use their own sanitiser if they are concerned. 

What toilets will be open? Where can we wash our hands? 

Most council-operated public toilets will be open, and these have full hand-washing facilities available. *Some public toilets are not council-run.

Please wash your hands regularly, before you leave home and when you get back. If you know you are likely to use a public toilet, make sure to carry your own hand sanitiser and gels. 

Face Coverings

Welsh Government regulations require all persons 11 years of age or older to wear face coverings inside public premises unless exempt.

There is no requirement to wear a face covering in premises supplying food or drink for consumption on the premises once you are seated. In premises where only a section of the premises are used for the consumption of food or drink all other parts of the premise require people to wear face coverings.

How will shops manage their queues outside? 

Shops are required to manage queues outside the premises with customers maintaining a distance of 2m apart. Some shops will have staff members greet customers to explain the social distancing measures inside, and manage how many customers can come in. Businesses will also manage any queue that forms and stop people from joining if their space limit is reached. 

Can I travel by bus? 

If you need to travel on public transport, avoid peak times.  Please remember to maintain social distancing while waiting for a bus. Many bus stops will have stencilled markings and signs helping people to observe social-distancing. We also recommend using contactless payment whenever possible. Please wear a mask at all times on public transport unless you have a medical exemption.

Check out our Active Travel pages for more information. 

Will shops and businesses be following the latest government guidance? 

All businesses must follow and stick to COVID-19 secure guidelines  

Businesses have only been able to open once they have completed a risk assessment, consulting with trade unions or directly with their workers. 

Want to share your feedback?

All measures implemented in our towns and villages have been shared with the emergency services. Full access will be maintained for their vehicles, so they are able to respond to any emergency as they would normally do.  

We are constantly reviewing the measures implemented in towns and villages based on feedback, however we would still love to hear your ideas. Submit your ideas by using the chat icon the bottom right of this page or message us on Facebook messenger.

Want to find out more?

For information about your nearest town or village, click here.

If you’re looking for inspiration for a day out why not take a look at VisitMonmouthshire’s website, which is packed with ideas.