Frequently Asked Questions

Pubs, bars, cafes and restaurants: Some pubs, bars, cafes and restaurants in Neath Port Talbot with outdoor spaces will be able to reopen from Monday, July 13th , with strict rules in place to prevent the spread of coronavirus more information

Yes. Non-essential retail will be able to reopen from 22nd June and retailers and the council have been preparing for this over the last three weeks.

All retail areas whether they are Town Centres, District Centres or Village Centres will be open as will those located within our communities. Not all retail properties will able to open on the 22nd as confirmed below.

Shops that may reopen include those that sell clothes, shoes, toys, furniture, books, flowers and electronics. Tailors and photography studios may open if it is safe to do so as well.

Businesses will only be able to open if they are confident about managing the risks and are able to follow the Welsh Government’s Covid19 advice 

Individual business operators will make those decisions based on their ability to manage these risks.

  • Cafes, restaurants and all bars, including pubs, clubs and nightclubs are closed unless they are offering a take-away service.
  • The same applies to hairdressers and beauty salons, and leisure facilities like standard cinemas and theatres.
  • Accommodation providers are also required to remain closed.

Welsh Government has indicated that their next review will concentrate on assessing the risk associated with hairdressers and beauty salons, with a view to relaxing restrictions in those sectors. Once Welsh Government has confirmed reopening dates for these businesses we will update this information. 

We have initially concentrated our attention on putting measures in place within our three main town centres. We will however be monitoring our district and village centres to identify whether measures need to be put in place to maximise public safety without compromising the operation of retailers and the amenity of residents who live within and around our retail centres.

To this end Neath Port Talbot Council has been working with Town Councils in Neath and Pontardawe together with representatives from the Neath and Port Talbot Business Improvement Districts (BIDS) who represent traders in their respective areas to agree a suite of measures to ensure that our three main town centres can reopen safely. Work is under way and will continue over the coming weeks to implement various measures designed to help shoppers stay safe. These include:

  • The provision of Town Centre Rangers in the first three weeks of our town centres reopening who will monitor the effectiveness of our measures. If the measures put in place prove unsuccessful we will redesign them in consultation with business and other stakeholders. This will ensue that our measures continue to be appropriate over time. Town Centre Rangers will also support our street cleansing teams to keep our town centres clean.
  • continuous street cleansing within our town centres including seating areas
  • The use of barriers to create pedestrian passing bays in areas of our towns where our pavements do not easily allow for social distancing
  • The provision of signage throughout the town centre reinforcing the message to comply with social distancing and to dispose of waste safely

The measures being introduced will vary according to each town, according to its layout and facilities. Plans are available to view on our website for Neath, Pontardawe and Port Talbot  which indicate green and amber routes. The green routes identify those which are wide enough to ensure that social distancing can be maintained relatively easily. The Amber routes are those which are slightly more constrained but through the provision of pedestrian passing places at intervals along its length, pedestrians will be able to use these routes safely.

Retailers will remain responsible for measures within their premises and queueing systems outside their premises however the council will provide advice when we can.

Visitors to the town centre will be encouraged to and will continue to be responsible for their own health and safety and personal hygiene.

They will be expected to maintain social distancing at all times with exception to members of their household and/or appointed carers.

They will be expected to dispose of their waste and recycling safely either at home or within the bin and recycling facilities provided within the town centres.

They should be responsible and respectful for others, especially those who are more vulnerable.

We recommend cycling or walking to your town centres whenever possible. However, council-run car-parks are open.

Further information

As has been the case since the outbreak of this pandemic, the council has stopped collecting car parking charges. A decision has been made to delay the reinstatment of charges in order to support the initial recovery of town centre businesses, and to encourage the public back into our town centres, albeit safely. This position will remain under review.

There are a range of public car parks within and around our town centres, details are here

Town Centre Car Parks

In Neath we have capacity for up to 1120 vehicles, while in Port Talbot there is capacity for up to 1210 and lastly in Pontardawe we have capacity for 100 vehicles. This is on top of the on street parking spaces that are available in restricted areas of our town centres. We would however reiterate the message that if possible, walking and cycling is the preferred means of getting around.  

On Monday, July 13th, a number of Council run public toilets will also reopen. There will be amended opening hours and increased cleaning regimes in place.

The toilets reopening on July 13th are:

  • Aberavon Seafront (Main) (8.30am-6.30pm),
  • Afan Forest Country Park (During Opening hours).
  • Angel Falls (8am – 6pm),
  • Gnoll Country Park (During Opening hours),
  • Margam Country Park (During opening hours)
  • Pontardawe (8am – 6pm),
  • Port Talbot Bus Station (New opening times 8am – 6pm),
  • Resolven (7.30am-6.30pm),
  • Victoria Gardens, Neath (8am – 6pm),

As the toilets do not have permanent attendants, people are urged to take responsibility for their own wellbeing and to adhere closely to signs and floor markings which will be in place

Until our public toilets are reopened there are no areas publically available within our town centres where you can wash your hands. Visitors to our town centres are therefore encouraged to carry their own hand santiser to ensure that they maintain their own health and safety.

In addition to using hand sanitiser, please wash your hands regularly, before you leave home and when you get back.

This will be an individual choice for retailers. Some shops will have staff members greet customers to explain the social distancing measures inside, and manage how many customers can come in, while other smaller shops may instead rely on the use of informative signage at the entrance explaining that only a restricted number of customers can enter the premises at any one time, and reliance upon customers to self-police the access arrangements. Again this will be the individual choice of retailers.

Customers are however urged when joining a queue, to ensure that they do not obstruct the entrance to adjacent retail premises.

If you need to travel on public transport, avoid peak times.  Please also be aware that a number of bus companies in addition to Transport for Wales who run the Rail services are currently operating a reduced timetable. Please therefore check on their websites before travelling. 

Please remember to maintain social distancing while waiting for a bus. In order to avoid a concentration of passengers for different routes within our bus stations some services will pick up and drop off at alternative locations. In Neath, an additional temporary bus stop has been created on St David’s Street close to the junction with Orchard Street. In Port Talbot some of the services operating from the Bus Station next to Aberavon Shopping Centre will now operate from the Transport Hub at the bottom of Station Road.

All businesses that plan to open, including those that are already open, must follow and stick to COVID-19 secure guidelines 

Businesses will only be able to open once they have completed a risk assessment, consulting with trade unions or directly with their workers. This will be the responsibility of each individual retailer.

A Risk Assessment of the measures the council are putting in place has been undertaken to ensure that the safety for everyone is maintained. Furthermore, all measures to be implemented have been designed to ensure that they do not prevent access to our town centres by the emergency services. They will therefore be able to respond to any emergency as they would normally do. 

In response to the feedback we obtain from monitoring undertaken by our Town Centre Rangers and from consulting with retailers we will be adapting plans as we go forward. We would still love to hear your ideas, submit your ideas by using the chat icon the bottom right of this page or message us on Facebook messenger.

Neath Market will open 1st July 9am-3pm with some safety measures in place