Following COVID-19 lockdown restrictions beginning to lift, Salisbury City Council reopened the city’s Charter Market last Saturday (16th May) and its being heralded a success.
The Charter Market was opened as a trial and gave shoppers the opportunity to purchase essential items from local traders in the Market Place. Around 900 shoppers attended and some food stalls sold out of produce by lunchtime.
Social distancing measures were in place which comprised of a queue system for access into the market (2m indicated by cones) and barriers indicating a clockwise flow of visitors. Individual stalls had socially distanced queues with hand gel available on entry and at every stall.
Mayor of the Council, Cllr John Walsh said, “The Mayoress and I attended and shopped at the Charter Market on Saturday feeling much safer than we normally do in our essential trips to indoor shops. I spoke to numerous of my fellow citizens all of whom were unstinting in their praise for the fact that the Council had re-opened the Charter Market.
“It was quite obvious that a great deal of hard work had gone into producing a well organised and safe event which reflected very highly on all those involved.”
Dan from Wilton Wholefoods, said “I was really impressed with the way the council had organised the day, the fact that we were really busy even though customers were coming through the gates fairly slowly.
“I would like to say that customers were so pleased to be able to shop “in person” again. Customers told me that the measures that had been put in place made them feel safe and that the council was trying to do things in the right way.
“Overall, I’d say it ticked all the boxes and as a stallholder we couldn’t have asked for more!”
Salisbury City Council had three indicators of success that they were measuring – safety of residents, safety of stall holders and the appetite from residents for the return of the market. These were all well met and so the decision has been taken to continue to open every Saturday from 8am until 3pm in the Market Place.