Street markets resumed across England as from Monday June the first and three traders welcomed customers at Barnet’s traditional Wednesday market – the fruit and vegetable stalls of Tyler Bone and Andy Gardiner, and the Brown Bread stall selling bread and pastries.
“It’s great to be back,” said Tyler Bone, wearing a face mask and reminding customers they must queue two metres apart and keep two metres away from the produce on sale.
“We are hoping our first Saturday market since lockdown will be really buzzing so it was great for us to make a start on Wednesday.”
Chris Nightingale, organiser of Friends of Barnet Market, says the market operators are keen to see that the market is being run as safely as possible. See below for advice being issued to market customers.
Hazard tapes and footstep stickers around the market site and through the shopping centre’s walkways are all in place and the Spires’ management team says the centre is up and running, ready for all the shops to re-open in the latest phased easing of the restrictions.
Waitrose and the chemists Savers remained open throughout lockdown and regularly attracted lengthy queues as customers waited their turn.
Another business re-opening at 15 June will be Pinks flower stall at the centre’s rear entrance, but the same cannot be said for the Carluccio’s restaurant at the High Street entrance.
Carluccio’s restaurant chain went into administration in March and although the business was taken over by the Giraffe restaurant group, High Barnet’s Carluccio’s was not among the 31 branches that will re-open once restrictions have been lifted.
Catering supplies and equipment, together with tables and chairs, have all been removed from what was one of the Spires’ flagship businesses and the former restaurant joins a long list of other vacant retail premises along Barnet High Street.
A phased re-opening is likely for the numerous charity shops in the High Street.
The Charity Retail Association, which speaks on their behalf says some shops may not have sufficient staff to re-open on 15 June as elderly volunteers may be having to remain in self-isolation.
Self-distancing procedures will also have to be introduced inside the shops and arrangements made to quarantine stock which the Association fears will be a heavy burden on the charity shop sector and make a staggered re-opening inevitable.
Chris Nightingale of Friends of Barnet Market is asking customers to observe the following safety procedures:
If queuing, follow the two metre social distancing rule and abide by directions as to the position of the queue.
If possible, avoid the peak period of between 10am and midday.
If you have a face mask, it does help and don't be embarrassed to wear it as all of the stallholders and staff will have them on.
If you see anyone not following the two metre rule, very tactfully point it out saying that the continuation of the market depends on this co-operation.