Column by the leader of Stroud District Council, Doina Cornell.

Local cafes, pubs, shops and other high street businesses put a tremendous effort in to making arrangements to open safely at the weekend, and we all welcome seeing the life returning to our high streets. I know getting a haircut was top of some people’s lists!

Stroud District Council is launching the Shop Local campaign to get behind shops and businesses in every High Street in the district. The Shop Local campaign is simple - we want shoppers to be able to shop safely and businesses to trade profitably and safely, to help restart the local economy.

We should, in no way, become complacent though. We have seen elsewhere what can happen - none of us wants that in Gloucestershire. Covid-19 remains within the population and we must keep doing all we can to minimise the risk of spreading the virus.

While more places are opening it is still essential that we stay safe to help prevent spreading the virus. With lockdown now easing we know people will be keen to go out and enjoy themselves.

Here are top 5 tips to make sure you and your family can stay safe while getting on with day to day activities:

Keep your distance from people outside your household and try and stay two metres apart at all times.

Continue to wash your hands well and regularly for 20 seconds, use sanitiser when outside your home and avoid touching your face.

Avoid crowded spaces and plan ahead when you can to avoid travelling on public transport at peak times.

Wearing a face covering is now compulsory on public transport and, if you can, wear one in other enclosed public spaces, such as shops.

And if you go to the pub, have fun but be sensible; show respect for others, follow the advice, and don’t do anything that puts you or other people at risk.