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Face masks will remain mandatory in historic London market


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

Borough Market in south London, which contains produce stalls and restaurants, said it would enforce mask wear under regulations passed by its administrators.

The move comes after polling visitors this week and found that a “clear majority” is “in favor of wearing masks beyond government lifting of restrictions” in England next Monday.

Borough Market shoppers and traders will continue to wear face coverings (Jonathan Brady / PA)

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

This echoes London Mayor Sadiq Khan’s decision that travelers 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 were feeling, and the clear message we received was that they wanted the masks to stay for now.

“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, also support this decision. “

In January, the market became the first outdoor retail location in the UK to make masks mandatory.

Meanwhile, Spitalfields in east London said the masks would not need to be worn in the outdoor market itself, but stores there may 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 says “No, you don’t need it inside”, then they won’t make it mandatory. For real restaurants and shops that are nearby, it will be at the discretion of those companies. “