Camden Market has become one of the first outdoor markets around London to return.
June 1 is a big day in London’s lockdown calendar: IKEA has reopened, you’re allowed to see up to five other people outdoors, and outdoor markets are permitted to reopen. And wasting absolutely no time on the latter point is Camden Market, which has returned to trading today – albeit with a raft of social distancing measures in place.
It’s a bittersweet moment for us at Secret London, since our offices sit above the market; whilst the constant crush of tourists and Instagram posers often causes us to grumble, it’s still a little saddening to know we’re not there to witness the return of Camden Market. Still, returned it has, and whilst the variety of outdoor areas make social distancing a little easier than in other markets, the sheer volume of traffic means caution must be exercised.
Camden Market has therefore implemented a one-way system that operates across the entire site, in order to keep all visitors flowing in the same direction. They’ll also be using floor markings to keep customers two metres apart, placing tables and chairs a distance apart from one other, setting up hand sanitiser stations, enhancing their cleaning regime, and using market security guards to prevent crowds from gathering at certain attractions (the Amy Winehouse statue and Cyberdog amongst them).
Not all of the market’s traders will return immediately, but restaurants and street food vendors including Kuku Riku, Magic Falafel, Makatcha, Only Jerkin’, Camden Pizza, and StakeHAUS will be open for collection and delivery only. Though you’re unlikely to see the return of more vendors until lockdown rules are further relaxed, Camden Market hopes to be “a place for visitors to spend some socially-distanced time in the sun”, per their website. Whatever shape its return may take, the return of one of the seven urban wonders of the world is welcome news in our book!
Also published on Medium.