Anyone heading into Watford town centre will notice it's now looking a bit different.

We've all experienced incredibly strange times for weeks now, but as we reportedly head towards a little more normality from the beginning of June, changes are being made in town centres around the country to make it safer and more spacious for pedestrians.

And this includes in Watford where the county council has been doing what it can to encourage social distancing.

Watford was announced as one of four towns in Hertfordshire which would see some change from the bank holiday weekend - and the photos in this article show what has changed.

The most noticeable change is the number of bright yellow signs now attached to signposts and lampposts.

Most of them have the same message - 'Please keep your distance' followed by 'This is for your safety and others' - which is hoped will remind people to keep a two metre distance from others where possible.

Watford Observer:

These signs are dotted along the High Street, mainly from the ring road at Lower High Street up towards Clarendon Road.

There are more bright yellow signs too - one reads 'Traffic management in place to promote social distancing' while a third says 'Restricted access. 10mph. Be aware, pedestrians on road. Social distancing in place'.

Watford Observer:

Watford Observer:

Barriers have also been introduced into the High Street, blocking off bus stops and loading bays.

This allows pedestrians to walk in areas where buses would usually park to pick up or drop off passengers.

Watford Observer:

Bus stops have been cordoned off and are parking spots are now blocked by barriers

Watford Observer:

High Street towards King Street

A road closure is now being enforced too.

Only certain vehicles are now allowed into the High Street from the service road by the Cotswold blue pyramid building - these are buses, taxis, delivery vehicles, and blue badge holders and any other vehicles requiring access, for example emergency vehicles.

Security was monitoring this closure, turning drivers away while letting through vehicles which qualified for access.

Watford Observer:

This is usually open to anyone but now it is 'access only'

The part of the High Street, between King Street and Market Street, restricted to buses, taxis, blue badge holders and access only, has not been blocked off but 'road closed' signs are in place where High Street meets King Street.

Bus stops on the High Street between these two junctions have been coned off, and all traffic was heading down King Street.

Watford Observer:

This is the High Street at King Street, by McDonald's. The road, usually open to buses, is closed, although there are no barriers.

Buses continue to run from Clarendon Road through to Market Street via the High Street.

Blue badge holders have been advised to part in Kings car park at intu Watford or at Gade car park, run by CitiPark.

Parking is currently free at Kings.

Watford Observer:

Watford Observer:

There are digital coronavirus adverts in the High Street, paying tribute to the NHS and local heroes, as well as reminding people how to keep safe

Watford Observer:

The mayor of Watford, Peter Taylor, has welcomed the changes to the town centre, but says this is "just the start".

He said: "Watford town centre is such an important part of our town and we know people will be looking forward to seeing it come to life again.

"However, it is critical that we put everyone’s safety first and making sure people have enough shared space is vital.

"The county council’s road closure means the lower part of the town centre will be safer for pedestrians, shoppers and those who live and work in the area, which is so important at the moment."

Watford Observer:

He continued: "But this is just the start of what is being put in place to manage the re-opening of our High Street.

"I am working with the county council, Watford BID, intu and other town centre partners to make it a welcoming and safe environment so people can feel confident about visiting but we must remember staying at home is still the best way to stay safe and stop the spread of the virus."​