CUSTOMERS visiting Cambridge central market are being encouraged to continue to observe national safety guidance.
The market has stayed open during lockdown for all traders who were eligible and wanted to trade. This was made possible by using the available the perimeter pitches only.
These pitches will continue to remain available for traders while the council develops a plan for reopening as many of the market’s other pitches as possible.
The physical layout of the market, with its high stall density, narrow inner aisles and surrounding highway frontage, presents a range of health and safety challenges, given the government’s two metre social distancing safety guidance.
The council has been actively reviewing options for how more traders can be safely accommodated back at the market through the introduction of customer queue and movement measures to maximise the use of available perimeter and inner aisle stall locations.
Meeting health and safety and social distancing requirements to keep customers and traders as safe as possible remains the council’s priority. The council will consult traders on the resulting proposals and associated management measures.
Cllr Rosy Moore, Executive Councillor for Climate Change, Environment and City Centre, said: “Cambridge market is important to our city and the many residents, workers and visitors who shop there.
“Our markets team have worked hard to keep it open throughout lockdown and have supported those traders who were eligible to, and who wanted to keep on trading during lockdown, to do so safely in compliance with government guidance.
“As we now look to help more traders return, we need to carefully consider the options, because it is quite apparent that the current inner layout of the market is not going to enable safe social distancing.
“We are actively looking at these options, producing risk assessments and will consult traders on our proposals. I hope that we can work closely together to find solutions that keep everyone as safe as possible.
“We understand how difficult it has been for traders during lockdown and the many uncertainties they face as the market and city centre re-opens, so we are doing what we can to support them in getting back to business whilst enabling social distancing for themselves and their customers.
"As the market and the city centre slowly re-opens in the weeks ahead, our main priority is to ensure that this is done in such a way that the residents and workers of Cambridge are safe and feel safe.”
The council is working with other city centre partners in planning for the fuller reopening of city centre shops and businesses from 15 June.