“It is one of the safest places I have been since lockdown” - Star readers defend Sheffield Christmas Market

There has been quite the controversy over Christmas markets in various cities, with some being poorly monitored and others excellent.

Tuesday, 8th December 2020, 11:53 am

Sheffield has already seen the cancellation of Fargate Christmas Market as well as other planned outdoor events, such as Out of This World and the Christmas Light Switch-on, being cancelled to help protect people from coronavirus and reduce the spread of infection.

We asked Star readers if they thought Christmas markets should be banned and this is what you said.

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Chapeltown Market Place, where an outdoor Christmas market was held on Saturday, December 5

Sarah Orwin said: “The 2,500 was over a 10 hour period. They had a limit of 150 people at a time. I went with my mum and it wasn’t over crowded at all and we felt completely safe. It’s outdoors, with plenty of hand sanitiser and people kept to social distancing rules. Nothing wrong with the market at all!”

Bryn Hawkins said: “If they are well controlled then I see no problem. I attended 2 this weekend that were great. Spread out, plenty of distance, well be have and plenty of measures. I will be attending Traxx on Saturday. Definitely safer than a supermarket. Speaking of which. How many customers do they have in every day of the week?”

Bev Pepperdine was the only outlier in the responses, and she said: “Sadly yes unless the numbers can be limited, same as number should be limited to shopping centres, Meadowhall just asking for trouble.”

Julie Portman said: “It (Traxx Christmas Market) was well controlled, we went & they were using a clicker for people going in & out, lots of people wore masks & they didn't have to so I think let them get on with business, they need money like everyone else, there were some beautiful craft stalls, worth a visit.”

Karen Galloway said: “2500 people attend over a 10 hour period, people where counted in & out it’s nothing like the one in Nottingham it’s a small community market which was very well organised at no point was anyone’s safety put in danger.”

Sophie Ramsay said: “Since the market began, there have always been wardens counting people in and out. It is one of the safest places I have been since lockdown and it would be a huge shame for local businesses if they are penalised yet again this year.”

Robert Richardson said: “Only if Meadowhall closes too, can't have one rule for big retailers and different for markets.”

Emma Womersley said: “If 2500 people visited Traxx on Saturday then I think that's amazing for a small local market. They didn't all 2500 of them turn up at once, that was throughout the whole day, if that figure is correct... regulated and restricted to the rules and regs of all the covid laws in place. We should be praising the fact that in this crap time 2500 people came out to a little market in Chapeltown to support all the independent businesses and the local community instead of queuing for hours to spend their money in Meadowhall.”

Carla Dudhill is firmly in support of properly organised Christmas Markets going ahead, saying: “No, I volunteer for a business that did the Saturday market at chapeltown on Saturday. Everything was above board the volunteers made it safe for everyone it was an amazing day just what chapeltown needs and fox valley at that. If you think yes to closing the markets then you look places like meadowhall for a start and them 2500 people you keep going on about was from 10am to 8pm”

Naomi Dakin also pointed out that the Christmas Market at Fox Valley was also a well organised, well spaced and saying: “We’ve had our christmas market this weekend at fox valley and i think its fair to have them its people lively hood and living”

Lisa Trigg said: “Definitely not it was all well organized and was nice to hear a bit of Christmas music and a bit of Christmas spirit”

Kate McDowall was very firm in her support of the events taking place, and she said: “No!!!! They are outdoors.… Anyone saying they should be...do you go into supermarkets and Meadowhall etc??? They have no distancing etc and aren’t well ventilated. Much safer to have markets outside!”

And, Kelly Harrison said: “I attended Saturday morning, all measures put in place - sanitizers dotted all over - and as for the kids fair ground rides there's 2 and what I saw the ride attendants were cleaning them down after every child! It wasn't over crowed, loads of space to socially distance. Fab little market, I'll be there again this Saturday.”

Paul Swift added: “I am one of the people who run the Chapeltown TRAXX Market and we have a range of measure in place not seen at any shops.

“Firstly we are outdoors!vSecond, we have hand sanitiser at the entrance and on every stall. We have a one-way system in place and social distancing signage.

“We count people in and out to make sure we don't surpass the limit we calculated to make it a safe place to visit. A team of volunteers that keep an eye on things.

“2sq Meters per visitor and a limit on the total number of visitors allowed in. We encourage masks, though not required.

“It was done in a controlled way and we everyone's safety in mind.

“This market had died, no one was doing anything and now a group of local people have taken it over during this COVID pandemic and created a local market that is much safer than any shop or shopping centre. Oh, and 30 local business have an opportunity to trade and make some money this Christmas."

Traxx Christmas Market will be taking place every weekend until December 19th.