Does that include Santa? Foreign traders will be BANNED from Manchester Christmas Markets under raft of Covid measures for locked-down city, reveal city health chiefs
- Locked-down Manchester’s world-famous Christmas Markets are ‘under review’
- The city’s councillor Pat Karney said foreign market traders would be banned
- Manchester is England’s Covid capital with infection rate higher than any city
With only a month until Manchester’s world-famous Christmas Markets would usually open for business, it is still not certain if they will go ahead.
Manchester councillor Pat Karney, known as Mr Christmas by Mancunians, announced last night that the locked-down city’s annual festivities were ‘under review’.
Among the coronavirus restrictions expected to be imposed on the markets if they do go ahead is a ban on foreign market traders attending with stalls.
This is likely to mean that many of the regular Bavarian beer stalls and deep-fried, chocolate-filled delicacies from Germany, France, Italy and Luxembourg will be missed.
Christmas Market in Albert Square, Manchester. The annual festivities are ‘under review’ in the locked-down city
In a number of tweets last night councillor Karne explained that they were trying to establish ‘what the event would look like and how it can be done safely.’
He tweeted: ‘Breaking. Wall to Wall Christmas Markets will not take place this year.
‘There will be no traders from abroad. We are looking at Makers Markets like they had in Piccadilly and Gt.Northern Sq this weekend. No final decision has been made.’
Mr Karne added: ‘We have looked at a small one line row of stalls in three locations similar to current Makers Markets. They have been sent to our Public Health Department to check out.
‘Manchester Council still wants the Christmas markets to go ahead. (…) We would never jeopardise the health of Mancunians.’
Manchester councillor Pat Karney, responsible for Manchester’s Christmas events, announced last night that the annual festivities were ‘under review’
Manchester is now England’s Covid-19 capital with an infection rate higher than any other authority in England, according to official data.
A total of 2,927 positive coronavirus tests were recorded across the city in the week to October 2 – the equivalent of 529.4 cases per 100,000 people, or one for every 190 people.
For comparison, its infection rate stood at 246.4 a week ago, according to a Press Association analysis of updated figures.
Visitors attend the Winter Wonderland Christmas-themed fair in Hyde Park on November 22, 2018 in London
Bath, Birmingham, Leeds, Edinburgh, Aberdeen, Padstow and Lincoln have called off their Christmas markets, with Glasgow’s and now Manchester’s hanging in the balance.
London’s Winter Wonderland, held in Hyde Park, is also cancelled for the first time since it begun in 2007.
However Cardiff’s Christmas market will go ahead with organisers ‘working hard to ensure that all customers to the market will have a safe and enjoyable visit’.
New Year’s Eve fireworks have already been cancelled in Manchester along with the Christmas lights switch-on and Bonfire Night events.