Nottingham Christmas market shuts down over Covid-19 concerns

A popular Christmas market in Nottingham has been shut down on Sunday (December 6), one day after it opened, following criticism that the crowds failed to adhere to Covid-19 safety measures.

By Rahmah Ghazali
Sunday, 6th December 2020, 4:08 pm

Hundreds flocked Old Market Square on Saturday (December 6) and pictures that were shared online showed that people seemingly breaking the rules by being too close to each other and not wearing face coverings.

This has prompted some visitors to take out their frustrations on Twitter, questioning why the market was allowed to go ahead in the first place when the city, along with the entire Nottinghamshire, was placed under Tier 3 lockdown.

The Mellors Group, which organises the event in the city said they decided to temporarily close the Christmas market due to the "unprecedented high footfall seen up and down the country for retail nationally.

Nottingham Winter Wonderland at Old Market Square in 2019. Picture by Nottingham City Council.

In a statement posted on their Facebook page, they said: "The pent-up demand for a city-centre offer was far higher than normal and we feel this is the most appropriate way forward.

"This will allow us to monitor footfall in the city-centre today and ensure that our activities support residents and local businesses in an appropriate fashion."

A visitor who went to the city centre on Saturday said there was no social distancing going on at the packed Christmas market and dozens of people were seen not wearing masks.

Another visitor also expressed his concerns as the place was "packed out" and full of people, saying: "This can't be right and safe. Maybe this is why we are stuck in Tier 3 because town carries on as normal?"