Will Santa Need To Social Distance In 2020?
How have traditional Christmas markets and festive garden centre events been impacted by Covid-19?
The prime minister, Boris Johnson has asserted his beliefs that the nation will not require a second lockdown later in 2020, and instead has developed a plan for the UK to ‘return to normality’ by Christmas. In contrast, Sir Patrick Vallance, the chief scientific adviser has expressly warned that ‘national measures’ may be called upon once again to deal with the possible surge of Covid cases hitting us in the winter. What would a second wave mean to a traditional British Christmas and how will it affect festive staples such as our beloved Christmas markets?
Christmas markets are popular throughout many towns and cities across the UK, including London, Canterbury, Bournemouth, Birmingham and Glasgow. Christmas planning always starts early for these huge events, so organisers will be making some tough decisions about how to proceed with their festival plans this year.
Outdoor gatherings are known to be significantly less of a risk than those held indoors, so social distancing measures can be implemented to make them safe. In the building of a Christmas market, hiab crane hire will allow the structures to be loaded into place without the need for teams of workers to physically lift and shift in the vicinity of each other. Whilst event organisers may also safely welcome customers using the types of social distancing measures that we’ve seen introduced in shops. These include one-way markets around the market, as well as contactless payments and screens erected between staff and customers.
Lincoln Christmas Market Cancelled
Since 1982, Lincoln has held one of the UK’s longest-running Christmas markets, when it was formally twinned with Neustadt. Around a quarter of a million people flock to the market over a four-day period each year, but sadly the event has been cancelled this year due to Covid-19. Although the market is predominantly outdoors, there are many marquees including those for food and crafts which would make social distancing almost impossible. After assessing the possibilities, the organisers have determined that it would not be realistic to implement safe and effective social distancing measures at their event.
Essex Christmas Market Plans To Go Ahead
In Essex, Meadow Croft German Christmas Market has offered hope that their popular garden centre festival will be going ahead even though it’s an indoor market. They’ve already started receiving deliveries in advance of November’s opening date and have devised some clever social distancing rules to avoid any bottlenecking around the event. The organisers plan to reduce any standing queues at the door by limiting the number of people able to access the site at any one time. Equally, they expect customers to be able to make their way to the tills with ease.
Christmas is far from being cancelled just yet, but there might be some changes this year. Grotto managers and festival organisers will be watching the health reports with keen interest in the coming months to enable them to make quick decisions about how to proceed. Hopefully Santa and his elves won’t need to social distance in December 2020!