Coronavirus: Gloucester car boot sale stays open

Site of car boot saleImage source, Google
Image caption,
The car boot sale in Gloucester happens twice a week at Hempsted Meadows

A car boot sale has said it will stay open despite government advice that people should observe social distancing to tackle coronavirus.

Gloucester Car Boot, in Hempsted Meadows, said it would remain open so its 80 traders did not "go out of business".

A Gloucestershire County Council spokesperson urged people to follow government advice.

The car boot sale has room for 500 pitches and parking for 600 vehicles.

A statement on its website said: "The car boot and market is a de facto shop.

"Shops have not been instructed to close, thus until there is a government edict instructing businesses to close, we will be opening as normal every Wednesday and Sunday."

Alcohol rubs

It added that as the car boot was in the open air, attendees would not be close to each other.

Instead, it said, they would be "arguably safer than in a shop or supermarket".

It added that the card machine would be disinfected after every use, and that soap and alcohol rubs would be provided.

The move is at odds with other car boot sales across the region, however.

Many are closed, including the Whitchurch car boot sale in Hengrove Park, Bristol, and the Cheddar car boot sale in Somerset.

Martyn Excell, who runs the Wotton car boot sale in Wotton-Under-Edge, Gloucestershire, said: "We are due to open after Easter, but I don't intend to.

"Even if we are legally allowed to, no one will come, so we have to be practical.

"We are a family business and are self-employed, so we stand to lose a lot of money."

A Gloucestershire County Council spokesperson said: "We would urge everyone to follow the advice issued by the government and Public Health England.

"It is vitally important to follow the social distancing measure to help limit the spread of coronavirus."

On March 23 Richard Cook, leader of Gloucester City Council, said: "We have taken the decision to close the Gloucester Car Boot and Flea Market and have informed the operators that it should not open until further notice. Eastgate Market will also be closed after today."

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