Reopening of outdoor markets to be delayed

THE reopening of Tameside’s outdoor markets has been delayed until at least June 22 in response to the regional rise in the ‘R’ rate and the associated increased risks to public health.

The move follows last week’s advice from Tameside Council Director of Public Health Dr Jeanelle de Gruchy to schools to delay the wider reopening until there is further assurance that the Covid 19 infection rate is reducing and the R rate is firmly below 1.Outdoor markets in Tameside were due to reopen on June 15 but the council has since informed traders of the decision to delay the reopening.

The decision, made in the interest of the safety of shoppers, traders and staff, has been based on the change in the R number and the potential for outdoor markets to attract large crowds with no means for controlling access and numbers of visitors and manage social distancing.

Ashton and Hyde indoor markets will remain open as they have strict and controllable social distancing measures in place – similar to supermarkets – which limit the number of shoppers accessing the building at any one time. Because of these measures, which also include hand sanitising stations and social distancing champions, non essential businesses will be allowed to open again within the indoor markets from 15 June as planned.

A Tameside Council spokesperson said: “This is an extremely challenging time for all and we especially appreciate the anxiety of traders and the need to start up their businesses again. However public safety is of paramount importance and our primary concern has to be preventing the spread of the virus and the protection of our communities and businesses. The situation will be monitored and reviewed on a regular basis and we aim to get the outdoor markets open again as soon as we feel it is safe to do so.”

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