Bollards and planters will be removed from Malmesbury High Street in the coming weeks.

They enabled people to socially distance but after almost all Covid restrictions lifted on July 19, Wiltshire Council decided to remove them.

The changes will also affect Oxford Road and will take place after work has been completed in Devizes and Marlborough, which started on July 20.

Cllr Dr Mark McClelland, Cabinet Member for Transport, said: “As we’re moving towards learning to live with COVID, the requirement for us to provide the social distancing measures is reduced, and that’s why we’re removing the schemes now.

“These changes were always designed to be temporary, and some of the bollards and other fittings are looking quite tired, so now is a good time to take them out.

“We know that some of these schemes have been well received by our communities, and we have had some requests to install them permanently, while others have proven to be more controversial. As the schemes were installed under temporary traffic regulation orders, any requests to make them permanent would have to be considered once the temporary schemes have been removed, and only then in close consultation with the town or parish council and with the broad support of the local community.

“The length of time it will take to remove the social distancing schemes will vary depending on what was installed, so people should not expect them to go overnight – but we have scheduled with our contractors to have them all removed in the coming weeks.”

Kate Blackburn, Wiltshire's Director of Public Health, said: “While it’s positive news that we are able to get back to a more normal way of living, we all need to remember that COVID-19 will remain part of our lives and we need to do everything we can to keep ourselves and our loved ones safe.

“This includes receiving the vaccine when offered, maintaining those really effective methods of prevention such as good hand hygiene and regular asymptomatic testing, and adhering to any restrictions that are still in place.”