Norwich welcomed the news this week that the city’s market would re-open from 1 June. This came as the government announced that from the start of next week, some outdoor retailers could open again, providing they met strict social distancing guidelines.
With 91 businesses, operating across 191 stalls, this news will have been viewed as a lifeline by the many people who depend on the trade they do on Norwich Market. Not to mention the scores of customers who have come to rely on the market in their day-to-day life, for the huge variety and quality of products and services it offers.
Councillor Matthew Packer, cabinet member with responsibility for Norwich Market said:
“When the announcement came that the market had to shut temporarily, it was devastating for so many. The city is incredibly proud of its market, which is one of the jewels in its crown that draws thousands of people into the city each year and boosts the local economy. The market provides the livelihoods for a large number of people and their families.
Some traders have been able to remain open or provide collection or delivery services in the last few weeks. The work they’ve done to adapt their services to continue to meet customer needs, while observing the strict restrictions and guidelines, has been truly remarkable and demonstrates entrepreneurship at its finest.
For those who have not been able to trade until now, we want to say once again how sorely you’ve been missed and look forward to seeing your return. To those who still have to wait a little longer for further government restrictions to be lifted before you can return, we can’t wait to welcome you back.
We know that the conditions traders and our own markets managers are being asked to meet to trade safely while this crisis continues, aren’t easy. So I’d like to thank you all for the commitment you are showing to making sure this is done in a safe and responsible way.
To our residents, who I'm sure cannot wait to visit the market, please remember the guidelines when you’re shopping on the market, as well as the measures that have been put in place for the safety of all.”
Norwich Market is a unique and special place and with a variety of stalls and businesses, all with different layouts and winding aisles – some of which only measure two metres in certain points – and so complying with the government guidance does come with challenges.
There will be a general one-way system in operation for customers within the market, and there will be signage in place to guide this. People are reminded of the general government guidance to keep two metres distance, wherever possible. The guidance also states that people can wear a face covering in enclosed spaces where social distancing is not possible.
It’s important that customers also follow the individual safeguarding measures each trader will have put in place to meet the needs and demands of their business.
Shoppers are also asked to use card payments wherever they can and that it’s recommended they carry and use hand sanitising gel when out and about, if possible.
All traders will have to have make sure they meet the government’s guidance for businesses and will make an individual decision about when they will start trading along with their opening times.