First Minister Mark Drakeford is expected to announce that non-essential retailers can reopen again from Monday in his three-weekly update to Wales tomorrow (Friday 12 March).
Drakeford and his devolved government are expected to make the decision today as to whether shops will reopen after looking at the coronavirus data, which has shown promising signs.
Monday 8 March marked the first day on which no Covid-related deaths were recorded in Wales since the start of the second wave.
With retailers waiting anxiously to hear if they will be able to reoepen after the weekend, Jonathan Hughes-Lewis, owner of Jonathan David Jewellers in Cardiff, weighed in on an exclusive conversation with Professional Jeweller.
He commented: “Although I believe we will be allowed to re-open on Monday, I believe the rollout will be a very slow and gradual process over a number of weeks.
“Therefore, I envisage us being allowed to trade, but movement of the general public being restricted to ‘stay local’ guidelines and likely unable to travel more than five miles unless essential.”
Despite this he remains hopeful that footfall will be strong: “I would like to think that the first few weeks will be quite busy with a real bustle. There seems to be quite a bit of pent up saving with people looking to spend.”
One criticism that has been levelled at the Welsh Government is that it could have given retailers more warning, with one weekend a very short amount of time to prepare to reopen their doors.
Hughes-Lewis said: “It would have been better if we had more notice, simply so that we can plan and put the relevant in place, even down to the smallest of details such as staff rotas.”
He added: “I have members of staff coming in today (Thursday) in order to familiarise themselves again with the layout, procedures and make ready the workshop and shop floor areas.”
If the reopening is to go ahead, this will give Welsh retail at least a four-week advantage over their English neighbours who have to wait until the Prime Minister’s touted 12 April reopening date.