NORTH Wiltshire MP James Gray has today welcomed the reopening of high street shops.

He is planning a social distancing tour of towns and villages in his constituency to see how retailers and shoppers are getting on following lockdown restrictions being eased.

The MP said: “Reopening our high streets is vital both in order to preserve the small businesses who keep our town centres vibrant; but also as a another small step towards a return to normal life.

“Of course it is important that we maintain social distancing and carry out the instructions of the shopkeepers to ensure everyone’s health and safety.

“I personally hope that the two-metre rule will soon be reduced to one metre, which will make that much easier, and may also soon make cafes and pubs a possibility.

“But for now, I just welcome this little step back towards some kind of normality.”

Today, James will visit the following High Streets:

9.30am - Calne

10.30am - Royal Wootton Bassett

11.30am - Cricklade

12.30pm - Malmesbury

1.30pm - Box