The independent London newspaper

Some market stalls to reopen with social distancing in place

A 'small number' of stalls selling essential goods will reopen this weekend

06 May, 2020 — By by Sam Ferguson

Keith West’s stall in Seven Sisters Road

THE council will allow a “small number” of market stalls to reopen this weekend.

The government’s coronavirus website states that outdoor and indoor markets should close, but includes an exception for “market stalls which offer essential retail, such as grocery and food”.

But the council introduced a blanket ban for all market stalls in early April.

Islington North MP Jeremy Corbyn spoke in support of the essential market stalls reopening in last week’s Tribune, and traders had been asking the council why they could not open with social distancing measures in place.

Now a small number of stalls will now be able to trade again as long as they adhere to social distancing guidelines.

These include fruit and veg seller Gulbahar Zaki in Story Street off Caledonian Road, Hani Kharroubi fishmonger in Angel’s Chapel Market, and fruit and veg sellers Cam and Keith outside The Enkel Arms in Seven Sisters Road, Holloway Nag’s Head.

Council bosses have said they will engage with other traders if the social distancing measures prove successful.

Cllr Asima Shaikh, executive member for inclusive economy and jobs, said: “It was a difficult decision to suspend street trading on safety grounds, but it was the right one in the circumstances.

“But now, as the situation has developed, we’ve been able to draw up new guidelines that will allow traders selling essential food and other goods to reopen, while ensuring their stalls and their working practices do not endanger anyone’s health.

“Naturally we are very keen to see our ever-popular market traders return, and we’re working with them through these difficult times – but we all agree that this has to be done right. It cannot be rushed, as we must ensure that the guidelines are effective.”

The council is in conversation with Islington Farmers Market, and other stall holders in our street markets who sell essential items, about when they may also be able to resume trading.

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