IT HAS been a difficult few months for Herefordshire's market traders, but they are now getting back to business after the coronavirus outbreak brought trading to a halt.

Despite initial plans for some street markets to continue to trade in Herefordshire, they were all suspended on March 28 at the start of the coronavirus lockdown.

But Hereford’s produce and craft market will now be back every Thursday and the first Saturday of each month, while the retail market will take place every Wednesday, Friday and Saturday after the Government paved the way for their return.

With lockdown restrictions being eased from June 1 outdoor markets can now reopen and sell any items, including non-essential ones such as flowers, Communities Secretary Robert Jenrick said.

Then from June 15 all other non-essential retail stores can reopen, but only if the businesses can abide by social distancing rules on their premises.

A small stream of shoppers headed into High Town today (June 3) to take advantage of the market’s return to trading, while bright yellow signs are dotted through the city centre to remind people to remain two metres apart.

Stalls selling everything from fresh produce to clothing have been spaced further apart, and blue signs carrying the social distancing message also hang from

every stall.

Ministers have stressed that plans for retail could change if reductions in coronavirus infections fail to meet expectations and the experience will be very

different, and before reopening, bosses must consider who is essential to be on the premises, plan for the minimum number of people needed on site and the mental and physical wellbeing of staff.