The return of retail and non-essential shops may seem trivial to some, but the return to some semblance of normality could be a real boost for communities that have been devastated by the coronavirus pandemic.

After months of serious restrictions on our individual liberties, albeit for a greater cause, people can now return to a life that is at least similar to the one they may have led pre-lockdown.

The re-opening of high streets shops will provide an obvious commercial boost too, as the Government looks to get commerce working again, to combat the dire economic consequences of the pandemic.

Shop owners, whose businesses had to be put on hold for the duration of the more stringent levels of lockdown, have welcomed the chance to throw open their doors.

As we report on page four and five of today’s The Mail, Phil Heath, the owner of Heaths Toymaster on Dalton Road, said: “Everybody’s happy to be out and about. For some people this is the first time they’ve come out to do anything other than food shopping since lockdown.

“Some people have been apprehensive about shopping again, but on the whole everyone has been very positive.

“It’s been quite a moving response from customers. Everyone’s been very nice and positive, it’s been worth the wait and we hope it continues.”