Non-essential retailers in Wales will not be allowed to open from Monday 15 March as First Minister Mark Drakeford had previously hinted at.
Instead, hairdressers will be permitted to reopen from Monday, but the rest of the non-essential retail sector will be subject to a gradual reopening between 22 March and 12 April – the same day that shops will open in England.
More details are expected later today on the gradual reopening of retail.
Jonathan Hughes-Lewis, owner of Jonathan David Jewellers in Cardiff, yesterday told Professional Jeweller of his belief that the opening would be “very slow and gradual” but hoped that it would begin this coming Monday.
Now, Hughes-Lewis has expressed his frustration at today’s news, saying: “I am slightly disappointed because I feel there has been slightly mixed messages over the last few weeks giving retailers hope for re-opening.”
He did add, however: “I do see the logic in the ruling, and always believed that this re-opening would be a [slow] and gradual process as the Welsh Assembly need to control the movement of people as much as possible so that we don’t get another lockdown.”
There is a silver lining for the jeweller, though, in that it gives the business more time to prepare than was expected for the rumoured Monday 15 March reopening.
He said: “We have been prepared to re-open now for a number of weeks. This additional timeframe, though, does give us the opportunity to plan further campaigns for re-opening and I will be working with our social media team to action this.”
Read yesterday’s interview with Hughes-Lewis below: