Broadway Market forced to close after crowds pose social distancing risk

A new separate market for essential shopping has been introduced at Broadway market to combat overcrowding, with extra...

A new separate market for essential shopping has been introduced at Broadway market to combat overcrowding, with extra police officers. Picture: Louise Brewood - Credit: Archant

Broadway Market is to close this weekend after crowds looking for takeaway food and drink have been overwhelming the street.

For two weekends out of three this month, the famous market has been forced to close early because the sheer number of people flocking to buy takeaway alcohol and food was making social distancing difficult.

No stalls are licensed to sell alcohol, but the visitors were being attracted to the nearby businesses.

READ MORE: New safety measures implemented at Broadway Market after it becomes ‘unbelievably rammed’Hackney Council has taken the decision to close on November 28 and 29, just before the second lockdown is eased on December 2.

Cllr Guy Nicholson, Hackney’s cabinet member for planning, culture and inclusive economy, said: “The street market has been operating with increased social distancing measures, a new layout and with stewarding by market officers.

“On behalf of the council, I would like to thank all stallholders for their cooperation and hard work in making sure the street market is safe for customers and traders alike but, sadly, we are left with no option but to close the market this weekend on the grounds of public safety and containing the Covid-19 virus.

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“It is disappointing that we have been forced to take this step, which is solely down to the numbers of people wanting to visit what is a small narrow street which means that social distancing is impossible to ensure.”

While the council has no power to enforce social distancing, police and officers have been deployed to the street to ensure shops are trading in line with latest government rules, which only allows the sale of takeaway alcohol if it is pre-ordered.

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Cllr Susan Fajana-Thomas, cabinet member for community safety, said: “We would urge visitors to Broadway Market to follow the government’s coronavirus guidance and help protect others from infection: stay at home, do not gather with those you do not live with and ensure you’re always two metres apart from those not in your household.”

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