Coronavirus: Manchester to host scaled-down winter markets

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Image caption,
This year's markets will feature social distancing and a one-way system

Two scaled-down winter markets are to open in Manchester in the run-up to Christmas following the cancellation of the city's annual festive markets.

The city council hopes the markets in St Ann's Square and Piccadilly Gardens will help independent traders who would have set up at the usual markets.

The markets will operate with social distancing, a one-way system and only one shopper at a time at each stall.

Outdoor markets can trade under the government's tier three Covid-19 rules.

The council cancelled its regular Christmas markets in October as the second wave of coronavirus infections began to surge.

Image source, Manchester City Council
Image caption,
Manchester's usual Christmas market attract thousands of visitors every year

The authority's city centre spokesman Pat Karney said: "We know people were so disappointed to hear this year's Christmas Markets could not go ahead.

"Since then, we have been looking at ways of supporting the Christmas traders at an important time of year for their businesses, while also attracting people in a safe and manageable way."

The market in St Ann's Square is to run for two long weekends from 9 to 13 December and 16 to 20 December, from 10:30 to 19:00 GMT.

The Piccadilly Gardens market is already open and will run until 23 December at the same time.

The council has also scrapped the New Year's Eve fireworks display.

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