MARKET traders in a Costa Blanca city are getting support from a local council which agrees with their view that they are getting second-rate treatment compared to shops, as Phase Two of lockdown reduction is scheduled to take place next week.
Markets have been reopening across the region as the State of Alarm rules have been relaxed during May, but one council believes that more can be done.
Santa Pola City Council says they are backing the local street market association in their complaints and concerns that the restrictions on working during Phase One of the lockdown de-escalation are too severe, which includes their indoor competitors.
The rules on markets in Phase One is that up to 25 per cent of normal pitches are permitted, and that they should concentrate on food and essential products.
The size under current Phase Two rules only increases to 33 per cent of usual capacity, and the council has written to the Ministry of Health to complain that the regulations are unfair for market traders.
Santa Pola has called on the maximum capacity for Phase Two to go up to 50 per cent, and then to 75 per cent for Phase Three.
The rationale behind the reduced number of stalls in the rules was to reduce the risk of spreading the coronavirus between the various traders, rather than between the customers.
Santa Pola Council says that with a dramatic fall of infection rates, the chances of the coronavirus being spread really come from shoppers as opposed to people selling their goods.
The letter to the Health Ministry also says that the rules are unfair:
“With these measures, the street market traders are being discriminated against, compared to supermarkets, large good shops and fruit stores. The distancing requirements and the range of products that can be sold indoors are not the same that markets have to follow,” the council stated.