Falkirk car boot sale organisers rubbish social distancing 'no attempt' claims

Claims over traders and members of the public failing to adhere to Covid-19 social distancing rules at a car boot sale have been rubbished by organisers.

Wednesday, 26th August 2020, 4:45 pm

An eyewitness told The Falkirk Herald the event at The Falkirk Stadium on Sunday drew in “hundreds of people” who made “absolutely no attempt” to follow guidelines.

The member of the public added: “I would estimate that only 10 per cent of people wore a mask.

“The people who run the site have a Facebook page assuring there are measures in place. There are not.

Organisers of a car boot sale at The Falkirk Stadium have rejected claims visitors and vendors failed to follow social distancing rules. Contributed.
Organisers of a car boot sale at The Falkirk Stadium have rejected claims visitors and vendors failed to follow social distancing rules. Contributed.

“If this carries on, I would expect to hear of a spike in cases for Falkirk.”

However, those who run the car boot sale – outdoor markets were granted permission to resume on June 29 – have dismissed the accusations.

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Organisers take exception to claims there are no safety measures in place and say visitors are reminded by vendors, signage and online posts to maintain social distancing.

They also say they regularly encourage the wearing of face masks and provide hand sanitisers, and have limited stall numbers.

Organisers reject the claim a minority are wearing masks, insisting the number of those wearing face coverings rises week-on-week.

A one-way system has also been introduced, however, a lack of personnel and authority mean, according to the team responsible for the event, this cannot be enforced properly.

A Falkirk Council spokeswoman said: “This site has a valid market operator licence.

“There is no legal requirement for face coverings to be worn in outdoor settings like car boot sales.

“Businesses are asked to encourage individuals to wear face coverings, which the operator of the car boot sale has done via posts on social media, however, this is not a legally enforceable requirement.

“For indoor retail settings where face coverings are mandatory, the Scottish Government guidance to businesses is for employees not to stop customers from entering the store or from being served if they refuse to wear a face covering.

“The responsibility to wear a face covering rests with the individual. This guidance would also apply to the operator of the car boot sale and his employees.

“Operations at this site will be monitored to ensure compliance with Scottish Government guidance.”

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