TODAY marked the first day non-essential retailers could open their doors after the coronavirus lockdown.

In Chepstow, spirits among business owners were high as people began to make their way back to the high street after having become accustomed to shopping online.

There were no queues like the ones seen in Newport and Cwmbran, but a steady stream of people were making their way around the various shops - both independent and chain - in Chepstow town centre.

Maxine and Nicola Jones who run Kreations at the bottom of St Mary's Street in the town said it had been nice, if a bit surreal, to reopen.

They said that they didn't know what to expect.

"We've been shut the entire time," they said.

"It wasn't too bad as we've been here for 21 years.

"It's been difficult for everyone.

"We're so pleased to be back open."

Click and collect has been an option for some businesses, with support for that service having seen them through the dark days of lockdown.

Carol Mutlow from Hannah's Music, on Moor Street, said that lockdown had been difficult.

"We did click and collect but it's nice to be back open," she said.

"It'll take time.

"We've had a few in today, but it'll take time.

"It's only been a day, but it's just nice to be open. "

Lisa Roberts from J'adore in St Mary's Arcade has also made use of click and collect during the winter.

She said she was "so, so pleased" to reopen.

"It's great to get back to seeing people. I've been very busy today.

"People are pleased to be out and everybody seems very happy."

She said that the time during lockdown had been used to paint the interior and do up the shop.

There was anxiety too, ahead of the reopening.

Dawn Floyd at St Mary's Collectables said she had mixed feelings after having spent so long in lockdown.

"I've been in the trade for 40 years," she said.

"I was apprehensive. We've been closed for months.

"I do feel a bit weary.

"But everyone is so happy. It's been steady, not busy, but I cant complain.

"I didn't know what to expect, but it's a tourist town. People will come.

"Well just take it day by day.

Even Molly (the shop dog) has been finding it strange

Ms Floyd said she had been waiting near the shop's gate for people to arrive.