Coronavirus: Wales traders ‘devastated’ as nationwide lockdown goes into effect | UK News


At the covered market in Pontypridd, there is a feeling of déjà vu.

The shutters are down, the chairs and tables empty, the cafes and stalls closed.

Mary Coleman and her husband turn off the lights in their baby clothing store as we walk up to chat.

Non-essential retail has been forced to close

As a non-essential retailer, they forbidden to negotiate.

“Absolutely devastated. October and November are my best trading months of the year in my business, ”Mary tells me.

“It’s been two weeks for me, we’ve started building the business since the last lockdown, and I feel like we’ve taken two steps forward and six steps back,” she adds.

Looking around the empty hall, Mary says there is more to this place than shopping: “There are a lot of lonely people there, a little reassurance from their family is what they lack. A lot of people come to the market to socialize with people because they don’t have anyone else – it’s pretty devastating. ”

Pontypridd was already subject to local lockdown restrictions – but now all of Wales is in the same boat.

On the way to the market, Patriot regulars took advantage of the last orders before the door was locked at 6 p.m.

The Patriot pub owner says the lockdown will cost him £ 16,000

Owner Neil Davies has told Sky News the 17-day lockdown will cost him £ 16,000 – but he fears there may be another one, and his eyes are Christmas.

“Christmas is a busy time for us and we can’t attract as many people as we would like,” he says. “The problem is, it really hurts our industry. There are a lot of pubs in town here, and a lot of pubs are going to close and not go through this pandemic. ”

By the time the lockdown begins it is quite dark in the main street of Pontypridd.

For the handful of locals returning home, it feels like this won’t be the last time they are told to stay inside.

“I hope it doesn’t last until Christmas because people like to go to other households – but if it’s going to happen, it has to happen, right? Sophie tells me.

Kieran is convinced there will be another foreclosure: “If you look at what happened in March, they said four weeks and it’s gone down to three months – I think it’s going to take more than two weeks. ”

I ask him how it makes him feel: “C ** p. Lose work, lose it all, man. ”

An elderly man agreed that this firewall will not be enough to fight the virus: “Even if it lasts two weeks I don’t think it will be enough, it will just be a little problem and we will all think ‘oh this’ is gone now ‘, and get close to Christmas, here we are again. ”

Welsh government says it will be a few weeks after November 9 before the country sees the achievements the firewall will bring – by then the people of Pontypridd and across the country are back inside .


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