"WELCOME back, we've missed you!"

That is the message from pubs and salons in Wrexham and Flintshire today as they welcome back their regular customers, many of whom have become friends over the years, back through their doors.

Today marks the ends of about 15 weeks in lockdown and three weeks of preparation to open hair salons, cafes, restaurants and pubs - with strict safety and social distancing measures in place.

The businesses won't be operating quite as they were before lockdown measures were introduced to reduce the spread of lockdown, but there will be a warm welcome on offer as business owers and their staff are finally able to work again.

Silvana Grosvenor is delighted to be opening her Salon One 20 salons in Wrexham and Rossett today.

She told the Leader: "The team are extremely happy that we can open up, the two salons have been prepared for a few weeks now with PPE all in place.

"The team will be working extra hours and late nights to prepare for the mad rush, as its going to be really busy. We are just raring to go!

"I've got my appointment book in front of me now, and clients have been ringing ready to get their hair done and just to make them feel better themselves really because its been a while since they've been able to."

"I've never had such an amount of time off. Even when I had the children I was always back within eight weeks of having them. It has been nice doing things I don't usually get time to do but now I'm ready to get back.

The Leader:

The Salon One 20 team

She said her team of 12 were all coming back and she was glad she did not have to make anyone redundant, thanks in part to the understanding of her landlords and the government's furlough scheme.

"All the team miss the clients," she added. "They're not just clients. I've been hairdressing for over 35 years so a lot of them have become friends.

"I think it will be strange for the first few days but I'm sure we'll all adjust. It will be the new normal."

The Leader:

Safety measures in place at Salon One 20

in most of Flintshire and Wrexham's towns and villages will be welcoming clients back today.

In a Facebook message to customers of Andrew Clifford Hairdressing salon in Mold, Mr Clifford said: "As you all know there are going to be certain Government restrictions. We are going to great lengths to try and keep all surfaces clean and bacteria free in the salon, we need to make sure you and our staff are well protected and that you feel comfortable whilst you are here. We therefore ask that you adhere to Government guidelines and requests as listed below.

"Arrive on time for your appointment.

"Bring a mask, if you don’t have one we can provide a disposable surgical mask.

"We can not provide liquid refreshments, however you may bring your own.

"Please keep your distance from other clients, and try to avoid touching any surface areas unnecessarily.

"We also ask that you arrive for your appointment alone as we do not have the space to accommodate partners or children who are not having treatments. If you require any special assistance please make us aware, we will do our very best to help you.

"Be mindful that toilet facilities will also be affected, however should the need arise don’t panic our staff have been diligent and all areas will be sanitised after each use.

"We are truly sorry about these restrictions but I’m sure you will understand why they are in place, we hope everything will get back to normal as soon as possible.

"We are looking forward to seeing you.

The Leader:

Landlord Andrew Griffiths in the outside bar in Drury. Photo: Melissa Cross

Many pubs have spent the last few weeks getting ready to open, not only working out what staff and stock they will need, but also transforming their car parks and other outside areas to accommodate staff.

Initially, pubs can only open outdoor areas with social distancing and safety measures in place.

Landlord Andrew Griffiths has even built an outside bar at the Burntwood in Drury.

Andrew told the Leader: "We can't wait.

"We've been preparing since shutdown, we've built an outside bar and have just been improving everything in preparation.

"There's going to roughly 24 tables outside, all spaced apart, the bar is about seven metres long and two metres wide and it has a six metre canopy roof coming off it. It's not a small thing. Everybody's been walking by and wondering what's going on and they're all excited about coming back in and socialising with people they know.

"We are looking forward to customers coming back, but we need to remember this is a community and to respect everyone.

"I'm glad that it's outdoors at the moment to get the feel of it and step people back into it instead of everyone running back into pubs. If it is outside it is more manageable."

Meanwhile, Wayne Jones, landlord of the Turf outside The Racecourse football ground in Wrexham, has built a new beer garden for customers.

In a message to customers, he said: "Its been a very long difficult 15 weeks for everyone and we've missed our incredible regulars a lot."

The Leader:

The beer garden at the Turf. Image: Wayne Jones/Facebook

He added: "We re-open our doors this Monday and look forward to welcoming you all back.

"Things will be a little different as we have to adhere to government guidelines and keep our customers and staff safe. So please be patient with us and stick to the rules.

"During lockdown we've taken the time to spruce up certain things and as well as the new decking on the car park we have built a new beer garden. Taking our outside capacity to 60.

"We will be open from 12-10pm seven days a week but I’m sorry you must book a table to avoid disappointment and its three hour slots as advised and a maximum of six to a table.

Nail salons and tattoo studios will have to wait until July 29 until they can re-open.