Nottingham City Council has defended its decision to run this year’s Christmas market despite fears over coronavirus.
The city is set to enter Tier 3 restrictions when the national lockdown ends this week but the rate of infection has decreased across the county.
Despite concerns over coronavirus, the popular festive event will continue from December 5 until December 24, from 10 am to 9 pm on Market Square.
In a statement on their website, Nottingham City Council addressed residents’ concerns about the market.
They said: “We fully understand that giving the go-ahead for an event this year may send mixed messages.
“We’ve taken great care in considering Christmas plans for Nottingham this year.
“It will cover less than half the usual space.
“Nottingham’s Covid rates have fallen dramatically in recent weeks.”
While local pubs and attractions must stay closed according to government guidelines, pop-up stalls of the same nature are allowed to open.
Naturally, this came with backlash on social media with many people branding the decision ‘reckless’ and ‘a disgrace.’
@BorisJohnson Any reason why a Christmas market is allowed to go ahead in Nottingham while thousands of people in the catering industry are still unable to work in Nottingham? You need to let restaurants open and get the economy back up!
— Ben Warburton (@BenWarburton17) December 1, 2020
While it may be true that rates have fallen, Nottinghamshire remains a hotspot for the spread of the virus.
Between November 23-30, Nottingham officially recorded 529 new COVID-19 cases, with an R-rate of 0.9-1.1, according to the government.
This is a drop of 26.7%, with 193 less cases recorded than the previous seven days.
It remains to be seen what impact the opening of the market will have on the city, as well as the impact on local pubs and retailers.