Market stalls selling 'non-essential' goods forced to close

Market stalls selling non-essential items in the Wakefield district have been forced to close amid the coronavrius pandemic.

Thursday, 26th March 2020, 2:07 pm
Updated Thursday, 26th March 2020, 2:08 pm

All markets remained open last week and early this week, as some traders said they were given a month's free rent by Wakefield Council, in a bid to cushion the financial impact of the crisis.

But while stalls selling essential goods including fruit, vegetables, meat, fish and pet food are allowed to stay in business, the rest have been asked to shut up shop as the lockdown across the country continues.

As with supermarkets, customers are being advised to only attend the market if it is essential for them to do so.

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Wakefield Market is still running between Thursday and Saturdays, but only stalls selling essentials are allowed to remain.

The council's acting chief executive, Andrew Balchin said: "We have made the decision to keep our markets open to a limited number of traders to help support their businesses during this difficult period and also to provide essential goods to our residents.

"However, as per the current government guidance, we would ask residents to only visit our markets if it is absolutely necessary and to follow the social distancing rules at all times.

"The current social distancing rules are vital if we are to stop coronavirus spreading and to protect the most vulnerable people in society.

"We are continuously monitoring the situation and will let our residents know of any further changes to the opening of our markets as soon as possible."

Local Democracy Reporting Service