CAMBRIDGE’S city centre market will reopen on Wednesday 17 March for street food, hot drinks and all other licensed retail businesses that are currently eligible to trade under lockdown rules.
This latest phase of reopening the market follows the earlier restart of essential market businesses, including those selling fresh fruit, vegetables and other food produce, from 18 January.
For each phase of reopening, Cambridge City Council has worked closely with the Cambridgeshire County Council’s Public Health team, market trader representatives and health and safety specialists, to assess risks and put in place the necessary management measures to deal with them.
The council’s priority is for the market to reopen safely for shoppers and traders. Reopening must reflect national and local coronavirus restrictions and associated management risks. These include potential overcrowding and lack of social distancing leading to increases in infection rates and local outbreaks.
Cambridge has continued to see steadily falling coronavirus rates but the national and local public health message is to continue to be cautious and only leave home for a very limited number of reasons, such as buying food and visiting a local park for fresh air and exercise.
Anyone coming to Cambridge market is strongly encouraged to do their shopping and then move on quickly to make way for others to do theirs and wear a face covering in the market.
Safety measures put in place to protect both shoppers and traders include:
- Locating high queue generating stalls on the outside of the market
- Barriers and signage to support a one-way flow management system
- More frequent cleaning of the market and individual business pitches
- Managing vehicular access while the market is operational
- Marshals to support safety measures, including queueing and social distancing
The reopening plan is being monitored and kept under continuous review. Work to implement further phased reopening will continue until the market is fully operational again and when lockdown restrictions are lifted. This will be done in accordance with the government roadmap and in consultation with the Director of Public Health.
Based on the current national roadmap all non-essential retail businesses will be able to reopen from 12 April.
Cllr Rosy Moore, Executive Councillor for Climate Change, Environment and City Centre, said: “Everyone will be happy to see the market open again for hot food and drink because it is at the centre of city life.
“The market provides valued goods and services and we have put in place measures to keep shoppers and traders safe. Keeping people safe will always be our top priority.
“While it is safer shopping outdoors, it is not risk free, so it is important that we act cautiously.
“We are still in lockdown so I would ask people coming to the market to do their shopping promptly and then make way for others. We have signage in place to help and our marshals will offer help and advice.
“We will continue to support our market traders through this challenging period and have committed to continue our previously agreed ‘lockdown pitch rental fee waiver’ until at least 31 March 2021 and to make sure they have the chance to apply for business and community support packages offered by the government.”
For details of the support available to business go to: https://www.cambridge.gov.uk/coronavirus-information-for-businesses
Full details of what can and can’t be done during the national lockdown are available on the government website: https://www.gov.uk/coronavirus