The sun glinting off the canal and the discarded takeaway trays. The mingling waft of frying meat, weed and patchouli. The goths of seven continents. Yep, there’s nowhere quite like Camden Market (nowhere that actually exists, at least). The market – along with the rest of London – has been closed for the lockdown for the last two months, but today (Monday June 1) it’s reopening. Under recent government guidelines, outdoor markets are among the first businesses to be able to trade again, with non-essential shops opening from June 15.
So, what will a socially distanced Camden Market look like? Hard to say. The market, which has been running for 45 years, normally attracts huge crowds, which obviously poses a challenge. On the other hand, most of it is outdoors, potentially making social distancing a bit easier. The market management team have announced the following measures to keep visitors and traders safe:
- a strict one-way system enforced across the market site
- floor markers that display good social distancing
- queuing spots outside shops and directional wayfinding arrows
- security guards to limit the flow of pedestrian traffic at entrances and ‘attraction’ points (Amy Winehouse statue, Cyberdog etc)
- maps outlining the correct flow of traffic available at hand-sanitiser stations and strategic crossroads around the market
For now, it’s just the stalls and food outlets that will be operating. The area’s many boutiques will reopen in line with other UK shops on June 15. It is planned that the market will be open with its usual summer trading hours of 10am to 7pm.
As the market is one of the first tourist landmarks in the capital to reopen, it will be interesting to see how it copes with its new socially distanced world. For now, though, it’s tie-dye ahoy!
Itching to go for a drink with your friends? Find out when London’s pubs and bars are likely to reopen again.