The Welsh First Minister Mark Drakeford has given the go-ahead for car retailers in the country to re-open their showrooms to customers on Monday, June 22.
Drakeford’s announcement, delivered this lunchtime (June 19), that all non-essential retail outlets could re-open their doors following 17 weeks of closure enforced by COVID-19 coronavirus lockdown legislation, comes just a day after Scotland’s retailers were told they would have to wait until June 29.
In his speech, Drakeford said: “On Monday we will introduce changes to restart our economy.
“All non-essential retail will be able to re-open provided they can comply with the physical distancing duty.
“I really want to thank all those in the sector who I know have worked hard over the last three weeks to prepare for this.”
Clarification on when Welsh people will also be able travel further afield than their locals area was also provided in the new guidance
“On Monday, July 6, we will lift the requirement to stay local provided the evidence at the time continues to support this,” said Drakeford.
“This means that we are asking people to stay local to keep Wales safe for two more weeks.”
Like their counterparts in Scotland - who still have 10 days to wait for their showroom re-opening date of June 29 - Welsh car retailers made their frustrations clear when England’s car retail facilities were given the green light to open on June 1.
Eighteen dealerships wrote a joint letter to the First Minister expressing fears that many customers will cross borders to buy a new car.
“We truly believe you have underestimated the professionalism and commitment in the retail motor trade,” the letter said.
“The retail sector as a whole is facing its biggest challenge in living memory, these recent actions have further increased the considerable pressure we already face and put Welsh jobs at risk.”
To read about the way retailers across the UK have preparted for their return to post-lockdown showroom trading, read the News Insight feature in the July digital of AM's digital magazine, which was published today (June 19).