Saturday, 27 February 2021

Covid restrictions at market tightened after complaints

Covid restrictions at market tightened after complaints

RESTRICTIONS at Henley’s markets have been tightened to prevent the spread of coronavirus.

The town council, which is responsible for the Thursday charter markets and farmers’ markets in Falaise Square, now tapes off the area on market day and anyone inside this must wear a face mask.

Security staff have been hired to enforce the rules and ensure only a limited number of shoppers is present at any time.

Social distancing is being encouraged with signage on all stalls and there will be posters bearing general coronavirus guidance.

As now, there will still be only nine or so stalls on any day, all selling “essential” goods such as food and drink, and they will continue to be spaced apart.

All traders must wear face coverings and have hand sanitiser on their stalls. The craft markets have been suspended because they can’t be classed as essential and in future there could be road closures.

The council made the changes after a number of residents complained that allowing the markets to continue was encouraging visitors from outside against lockdown rules.

Town and community manager Helen Barnett denied this but said the new measures should keep people safer and provide extra reassurance.

She said: “We’ve worked with all the traders to ensure they’re spread out and they’ve been very supportive of what we’re doing.

“People who currently visit the market are those who’ve always come regularly and they feel safer shopping in an outdoor environment. The government guidance allows essential shops to continue so we’re allowing traders to keep their livelihoods going where it’s safe and within the rules.

“The pandemic has posed a challenge for everyone and we want to help as many people as we can.”

Two weeks ago, the Mayor of Henley issued a plea to residents to follow the coronavirus rules.

Councillor Ken Arlett said: “We cannot emphasise enough that your care and consideration for others will save lives.

“The lives and livelihoods of the people of Henley depend on your actions. Maintain social distancing in our parks and play areas and in our market place.”

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