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Is it safe for outdoor markets to reopen?

After months of financial hardship, many stall owners and small businesses are up and running again as open-air markets reopen across England.

For most stallholders, this is a happy time. Back to work, with at least a chance to reduce the uncertainty of the past few months of COVID lockdown.

If you want to know how to make it safe to go back to work as an outdoor market stallholder, Fantastic Services has gathered everything you need to know:

Outdoor markets – what is being done?

Responsible stall owners are premiering a new kind of socially-distanced selling. This includes things like:

  • Keeping a two-metre distance from customers at all times.
  • Contactless payments with cards or electronic wallets.
  • Staggered pick-up points and payments for orders.

This is all in keeping with the government’s COVID-19 secure guidelines, which all stall owners need to comply with if they’re going to reopen successfully.

What does the government say?

The government says that as outdoor markets by their very nature take place outside, they are lower risk and present less of a chance of virus transmission and infection.

Open-air markets are allowed to reopen from June 1st, as long as they do everything the government has set out in its recommendations for them. This includes a need to:

  1. Ensure social distancing rules can be followed at all times.
  2. Clean and disinfect any surfaces or items which get touched regularly.
  3. Clean the space and assess it with COVID in mind before you open.

You can find the government’s general coronavirus protection advice for shops, including markets, at

There is also special advice for food businesses at

What do stall owners say?

Even the stall owners who have opened right away acknowledge that things aren’t immediately going to go back to business as usual.

Safety needs to be put before all else, of course. There may also be a need to come to terms with the fact that demand might be very much reduced for some time to come.

That said, most stall and small business owners are glad to be out there – or have the opportunity to be out there – trading again.

What do the experts say?

Expert advice has stayed pretty solid on the fact that the chances of transmitting coronavirus are reduced a great deal if you are outside.

That said, the early reopening of many businesses in England does seem to have the experts worried.

Outdoor markets and stall owners – preparing to get back to work

The first challenge involved in making it safe to go back to work is doing so while protecting yourself and your customers.

The second is to win back your customers’ trust that they can come and buy from you.

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