Honiton Gate to Plate returns in August with added precautions to stop coronavirus spread

Honiton Gate to Plate street market returns for its third year this August, celebrating food and craft produced in East Devon.

The annual street market this year will take place on Saturday, August 15, with a new layout, extra space and safety measures in place to safeguard visitors and traders against the coronavirus.

The event, from 10am until 4pm, is free to attend and will showcase what Honiton has to offer alongside some of the best food and drink producers in the South West, plus traditional crafts made locally.

COVID-19 precautions put in place by organisers include the introduction of a new layout offering more space between trade stands, hand sanitiser stations, extra precautions for producers and a click-and-collect service to reduce waiting time.

Sarah Milner Simonds, event organiser, said: “Markets are part of the fabric of towns and cities across the UK.

“They are the starting point for many low-risk business start-ups and will have a major role to play in the aftermath of COVID-19.

“We know our events generate environmental and economic benefits by supporting family producers and farmers.

“We need to help their micro and small business stay afloat during this transition to the new normal for the sake of the local economic wellbeing and long terms visions of vibrant town centres.”

Beverley Milner Simonds, co-organiser, said: “The nature of the town centre location means that social distancing can be easier than within an enclosed shop.

“We are thinking of this new normal as an alternative open-air food supermarket – well stocked with fresh produce, essential food and some treats too.

“Food markets have been classed as essential since the start of the lockdown and we have altered our operating model to focus on local produce market elements and remove the activities that encourage dwell time.

“This pains us. We aim to promote town centres as the hub for local communities and encourage exploration.

“But we know we are working in different times and are adapting accordingly.

“We will continue to review and modify this operating model in-line with government and WHO guidance.”

The event is being supported by East Devon District Council and Honiton Town Council, said Honiton Gate to Plate organisers.

Road diversions will be in place from 7am until 7pm on the day.

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