Covid strikes again as Christmas markets cancelled

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Liverpool Christmas Markets in 2017 / Pic JMU Journalism

Liverpool’s annual Christmas Markets have been cancelled due to Covid-19, prompting public disappointment.

An increase in the number of positive coronavirus cases throughout September and October saw Merseyside moved to Tier 3 last week.

This has now been followed by Liverpool City Council’s decision to cancel the popular festive markets with deputy mayor and cabinet member for culture, tourism and events Councillor Wendy Simon saying: “The hugely complex challenges they faced due to the ongoing health pandemic means it simply isn’t logistically or practically feasible for the event to go ahead.”

The Christmas Markets would have been located outside St George’s Hall Plateau. However, this year, the popular location will remain empty.

Will this dampen Christmas spirit? JMU Journalism popped into Liverpool to find out.

Jane Godfrey, 56, from Liverpool, said: “I think it’s a real shame they’ve had to cancel the whole thing because there really won’t be much of a Christmas spirit in town now, but with the current situation it’s definitely the right thing to do.”

Christmas lover Jane added: “It’s a difficult one because measures could have been put in place, but you can’t guarantee everyone would obey the rules and then it ruins it for everybody. Hopefully the Christmas lights in town will be extra special this year.”

Lucy Cooper, 22, from Belfast agrees social distancing measures could have been put in place to ensure the markets went ahead.

“The markets are one of my favourite parts about the whole Christmas experience, so obviously it’s sad that they won’t be going ahead this year,” she said.

Thomas Watton from Wales, said: “For me going to the Christmas markets is the day that the festivities officially begin and it’s usually the place I buy everybody’s presents.”

Student Isabell Hall , 21, explained how coronavirus had already ruined her final year at university and is sad she won’t be able to visit the markets ‘one last time’. She added: “I’m from a small town in Staffordshire that doesn’t have a Christmas market. The fact that Liverpool’s market won’t be open this year is extremely disappointing as it has been something I have looked forward to since being a student here.”

Despite the cancellation of the Christmas markets an extended lighting programme will be organised, stretching from the Town Hall to Chinatown. Councillor Simon confirmed: “For the first time, Christmas lights will also line Hope Street, connecting our two majestic cathedrals and bringing some much-needed brightness and hope to the city.”

About Annisha Maraj, JMU Journalism