VERA’S hugely popular weekly open-air market is restarting this coming Saturday, but in a different location from usual in order to comply with Government safety regulations aimed at preventing the spread of Covid-19 infections.
It will now be held in in the Paseo Miguel de Cervantes to allow for guarantees on safety, hygiene, social distancing and controls on maximum people numbers.
In the first phase of the lockdown de-escalation, there is a limit of 25 per cent on the usual or authorised number of market stalls, plus they can only sell food products. The number of market-goers is limited to one third of normal capacity.
The council said the new, provisional, location is much more spacious and open than the streets where stalls were always set up before the coronavirus crisis. This means the stalls can be set up in line and well-separated, and it will be easier for market-goers to keep their distance from each other and to control the number of people at any one time.
The local authority has prepared special signposting for entrances and exits, for which there will be two well-marked out zones in Calle Cuatro Caños and Calle Don Ramon Orozco, and where there will be electronic controls on the number of people going in and out.
There will be hydro-alcoholic dispensers in both zones for public use.
The actual market area will be cordoned off with tape and barriers to ensure maximum market-goer numbers can be enforced.
There will be straight lines of stalls in both directions along Paseo Miguel de Cervantes, with a minimum 2.5-metre space between them, and the pedestrian zone will be divided into two marked out directions.
Stallholders have to follow a whole series of health and safety measures. The local authority reported they should for example install a counter or screen as a physical separation from customers and to prevent the public from touching products.
They must wear gloves and masks and disinfect their hands between serving customers, and stalls will have to be frequently cleaned and disinfected and everything, including counters, machines and scales, done thoroughly at the end of the day.
Stallholders are also advised to avoid touching money and foodstuffs at the same time and to encourage payments by credit card.
Members of the public must keep a minimum of two metres apart.
Once Almeria enters into the second phase of the de-escalation the number of stalls allowed will be increased to a third of normal and under phase three to between 50 and 75 per cent.