Face masks to remain compulsory in historic London market

Customers and traders at a historic food market in London will have to continue wearing face masks next week despite restrictions being eased by the Government.

Borough Market in south London, which contains produce stalls and restaurants, said it will be enforcing mask-wearing under by-laws passed by its Trustees.

The decision comes after it surveyed visitors this week and found a “clear majority” are “in favour of mask-wearing beyond the Government’s lifting of restrictions” in England next Monday.

Borough Market continues with face masks
Shoppers and traders at Borough Market will continue wearing face coverings (Jonathan Brady/PA)

People will be able to remove face masks while eating and drinking in the market’s hot food areas, which is the case under the current rules in restaurants and bars.

It echoes the decision made by London Mayor Sadiq Khan that travellers on the capital’s transport network must continue to wear masks from next week and beyond.

Borough Market managing director Darren Henaghan said: “It was important for us to understand how our customers felt, and the clear message we received was that they want masks to stay for the time being.

“We have a responsibility to provide a safe and comfortable environment where the public can shop with confidence, so this is the right thing to do.

“Our traders, who will also continue to wear masks, support this move as well.”

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In January, the market became the first outdoor retail venue in the UK to make face masks compulsory.

Other London attractions, including London Dungeon and the Natural History Museum, are requesting that visitors continue wearing face masks inside.

A spokeswoman for the Natural History Museum told PA: “We are recommending visitors wear face coverings inside the museum, in line with government guidance.”

On the London Dungeon website, it says the venue will “highly recommend that face coverings are worn inside our attractions” while staff will carry on wearing PPE from July 19.

Meanwhile, Spitalfields in east London said masks will not need to be worn in the outdoor market itself but the shops within it can ask customers to wear masks inside if they wish.

A spokeswoman for Spitalfields told the PA news agency: “In the market itself, they are going to follow Government guidelines. If the Government is saying ‘No, you don’t need them inside’, then they won’t make it mandatory. For the actual restaurants and shops that run around the edge, that will be at the discretion of those companies.”