Covid fears causing axing of popular Wigan Christmas market

Organisers have pulled the plug on a popular Wigan Christmas market this year because they don't feel confident they can police it against Covid.

Wednesday, 1st September 2021, 10:15 am
Updated Wednesday, 1st September 2021, 10:20 am
Wigan Ukulele Band at the 2019 Christmas market

It is with "great sadness" that Standish Voice and the Standish Christmas Market Committee announced this week that this December’s event will be postponed until 2022.

They say they have monitored the coronavirus situation closely over the past months, studied the rules on mass events, and liaised with the colleagues they work with on the market from St Wilfrid’s Church and the Friends of Standish Library.

The Government guidelines for mass gatherings includes minimising transmission of Covid-19, and they say this is something they could not guarantee.

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This will be the second year running the market will only be held virtually

A spokesman said: "As the market attracts around 5,000 people and is a free, public event, we would be unable to organise the checking of people’s vaccination status or recent Covid test history.

"We must also consider the safety of our 60 to 70 volunteers who help to run the market on the day, Government advice of mask wearing in crowded places, and the inability to guarantee the enforcement of social distancing.

"We are also aware of predictions of an increase in Covid-19 in the winter months and the chance of new restrictions being imposed at short notice which could jeopardise us financially and put future markets in doubt.

"While this will come as a great disappointment to many people, we hope you understand the reasoning behind this decision."

The spokesman said that they will be organising a virtual event as last year, which they hope people will join in with and they are looking into the possibility of a small scale celebration of their Christmas tree lights being switched on.

He added that they will be planning Standish Christmas Market 2022 from early in the new year and volunteers wishing to join them will be very welcome.

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