During the Welsh Government's daily coronavirus press briefing yesterday, First Minister for Wales, Mark Drakeford, announced an easing of the lockdown rules, which will allow all shops to reopen from Monday 22nd June.
This will come as welcome news to many shop and business owners in the Vale, who have been waiting anxiously for a return to trade and the beginning of the end of this period of uncertainty.
Of course, these business owners now face the hurdle of making their place of work as safe as possible for staff and customers alike in the coming months, to help avoid the possibility of a second spike of this unprecedented and damaging pandemic.
Bro Radio's Nathan Spackman spoke to Dave Elliot, the Chair of the Holton road traders association and owner of TL Computer Systems, one of the businesses that has continued operating during the lockdown. Despite his own business being able to trade through the pandemic, as Chair of the Holton Road Traders Association, Mr Elliot was able to shed some light on how other businesses have been preparing for a return to trade. He said:
"All businesses have made the shops safe for the community to shop, with perspex being put up around the till stations and regular cleaning activities.
"Our local traders have pulled out all the stops to ensure everybody feels safe. Queue systems have been put into place outside shops, appointments and one-way systems are being introduced inside some shops and signs and procedures are being introduced to ensure that shoppers can shop with a little bit more confidence during this period."
You can hear more of Nathan's interview with Dave Elliot here:
Another business taking measures to ensure they are ready to reopen on Monday is the Barry Music Shop. The shop, Barry's only music dedicated store, took to Facebook to share their progress ahead of opening their doors again on the 22nd.
In their Facebook post the Barry Music Shop said:
"A busy day today preparing for possible opening at The Barry Music Shop on Monday 22nd (providing we get the go ahead tomorrow!)
Lots of signs being made and laminated, pinched our crowd barriers and rope from our hire division! Perspex screen up on the shop counter and our hand sanitiser station right be the door as you come it!
We have even hired a carpet cleaner for tomorrow to give our carpet tiles a spruce up before we stick down the directional arrows!
Keeping everything crossed for the First Minister’s announcement tomorrow!"
The post, written on the 18th June, proceeding the First Minister's statement regarding the easing of the lockdown rules, alludes to the speculation amongst businesses in the community that these changes were on the way.
Quadrant Financial Associates, also of Barry, released a video detailing the modifications they have put in place to prepare for the resumption of business.
In the video, Linda from Quadrant guides the viewer through the shop, explaining the measures they have in place, such as an automatic hand sanitiser on the door and perspex screens throughout the establishment.
Quadrant are also planning to only allow customers in one at a time, to keep to social distancing measures.
You can see Quadrant's video here:
Despite the changes to the lockdown restrictions, The "Five-Mile" rule has remained. Other alterations include the return of some sport in Wales, such as tennis and athletics.
The current restrictions will once again be reviewed on July 9th, where the Welsh Government will consider, among other things, the return of personal care services, such as hairdressing, and also whether to allow those with access to self contained holiday accommodation, such as static caravans, to visit them, and how this can be done safely.