Calderdale Council is planning the safe, phased reopening of its markets across the borough, following Government guidance that outdoor markets can reopen from Monday 1 June, and indoor markets (along with other non-essential retailers) from Monday 15 June, as long as they protect staff and customers from COVID-19.
The Council runs two indoor market halls, Halifax Borough Market and Todmorden Market Hall, and regular outdoor markets in Brighouse, Elland, Hebden Bridge, Sowerby Bridge and Todmorden.
In line with Government guidance, from Monday 15 June Halifax Borough Market and Todmorden Market Hall will be open for the sale of non-essential as well as essential items.
Like everyone, people visiting markets must stay two metres away from others at all times, and follow the social distancing and safety measures that will be in place, such as floor markings and notices.You should also wash your hands with soap and water often, for at least 20 seconds, avoid touching your face and follow the ‘catch it, bin it, kill it’ guidance.
As per national advice, cafés and beauty salons in the markets will not reopen at present, and due to the narrow width of some aisles in the market halls, it will not be safe to reopen every stall at the moment as it is not possible to comply with the national ‘COVID-19 secure’ guidelines. Car boot sales and second hand markets will remain closed until further notice – the Council will consult with those traders as it progresses the reopening.
Cllr Jane Scullion, Calderdale Council’s Cabinet Member for Regeneration and Resources, said:
“Whilst we welcome the opportunity to open our markets further, and we encourage people to shop with independent retailers where possible, keeping people safe remains our top priority. The coronavirus will still be present for some time, and our main advice remains – stay at home wherever possible, and if you do need to go out, follow social distancing rules and try to walk or cycle if you can.
“We know how important it is to reopen our high streets and rebuild our economy, but our main concern is to ensure a safe future for everyone. We have been working closely with our market traders to make sure stall holders, staff and customers stay protected, and market stalls will only open when it is safe to do so. Our reopening decisions have been made very carefully, and only where we are confident that measures are in place to manage the risk of COVID-19.”
National guidance for reopening has been made available to market traders, and the Council’s markets service has been supporting them to operate safely.
As well as indoor markets, from Monday 15 June all other non-essential retailers are expected to be able to reopen, provided they meet the COVID-19 secure guidelines. This includes shops selling clothes, shoes, toys, furniture, books and electronics, and tailors, auction houses and photography studios.