Monmouthshire County Council will open its library service to the public from today, Monday March 29, but some restrictions will remain in place for at least a fortnight.

The library areas in each of the council’s six community hubs will open initially on their current Request and Collect days:

Abergavenny - Tuesday and Thursday (10am to 1pm & 2pm to 4pm)

Caldicot – Thursday and Friday (9am to 10am & 3pm to 4pm)

Chepstow – Monday and Tuesday (10am to 4pm)

• Gilwern – Monday (10am to 12.30pm)

• Monmouth – Tuesday (10.30am to 12.30pm & 2.30pm to 6.00pm), Friday (10.30am to 12.30pm & 2pm to 3.30pm) and Saturday (9am to 12.30pm)

• Usk – Wednesday (9am to 5pm) and Saturday (9.30am to 12.30pm)

Public access computers will not be available during this period and it may be necessary to queue at busy times to maintain social distancing inside the building.

A full reopening is planned from April 12, however some slight variations on pre-lockdown times will remain in place.

For example, Chepstow and Caldicot hubs will remain closed all day on Wednesdays; Monmouth and Abergavenny will continue be closed between 1pm and 2pm.

Late night opening will not resume in Abergavenny during the first few weeks of opening. Opening times will remain under review.

While re-opening the library service gives residents an opportunity to physically browse books, the Request and Collect facility has proved popular and will remain available via the My Council Services app. Booking slots for public access PCs will also be made available ahead of April 12.

A council spokesperson said: “As the number of vaccinations rise and restrictions are eased we’re delighted to be able to welcome people back inside our community hubs to use the library service.

’’However, this step is not without its challenges, a lot of preparation is needed for us to be ready and so the service will operate on reduced hours for the first two weeks. In addition, we will still require staff, customers and learners to use face masks and hand-sanitiser as well as observe social distancing.”

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