With updated guidance in place from Welsh Government, Bridgend County Borough Council is continuing to work closely with local businesses to help keep shoppers and traders safe.

Economy and Transport Minister Ken Skates has written to traders to acknowledge that while businesses are introducing a range of measures designed to limit potential exposure to the coronavirus, a number of instances are being reported where full social distancing is not physically possible and other options must be explored.

The council is liaising closely with businesses over temporary changes which have been piloted at Talbot Street in Maesteg where barriers and street markings have been introduced to help keep people safe and shops open.

Following feedback from traders and after monitoring the situation closely, the council is preparing to amend the layout, introduce new signage and remove some of the barriers, which will also provide additional parking spaces.

Cllr Richard Young, Cabinet Member for Communities, said: “The council wants to do all that it can to support local businesses while maintaining standards designed to protect people from exposure to the coronavirus.

“Throughout this process, we have remained in close contact with traders, and are using their feedback to make adjustments wherever they prove to be required.

“We’ll be applying what we have learned through the Talbot Street pilot scheme to other parts of the county borough, and will continue to work in close partnership with traders as we offer them our full support.”

Among the support that the council has provided is free online training on how to reopen safely, free ‘sneeze-guard’ equipment, and ‘Shop Local, Shop Safe’ certificates and window stickers.

The council has also processed more than £28m in business support grants, has waived SME fees for using council-owned premises, and has delivered free parking at a number of council-maintained car parks to support shops and businesses with reopening.

To find out more, visit the frequently asked questions page at www.bridgend.gov.uk