NOTTINGHAM’S Christmas market has been shut down after just 24 hours of opening after it attracted mass crowds on the first weekend after lockdown.
A throng of shoppers were pictured mingling in the market square yesterday, forcing police to break up the crowd.
The Christmas market in Nottingham was packed and had to be closed downCredit: PA:Press Association
Police were called to break up crowds in the popular Christmas spotCredit: Zac Goodwin
Crowds swelled into the evening, with organisers calling it ‘unprecedented’Credit: Ashley Kirk
Shoppers pounded the pavements on Oxford Street, making the most of the sales and Christmas dealsCredit: PA:Press Association
Today the Mellors Group, which operates the Christmas market, said it had to temporarily close the attraction due to “unprecedented high footfall”.
Nottinghamshire Police said officers were at the market all day to provide visible presence and to break up large crowds in the area.
Games designer Luke Brown, 24, from The Meadows area of Nottingham, said there were at least a couple of hundred people at the market, describing it as “crazy”.
He said: “I was on the outskirts of the market as there were so many people on the inside, many people were not wearing any masks at all and there was definitely no two-metre distancing.
“I was highly uncomfortable being there so we literally went home after five minutes.”
In a statement, the Mellors Group said: “In light of the unprecedented high footfall seen up and down the country for retail nationally, we have decided to temporarily close the Christmas market (Sunday).
“The pent-up demand for a city centre offer was far higher than normal and we feel this is the most appropriate way forward.
“This will allow us to monitor footfall in the city centre today and ensure that our activities support residents and local businesses in an appropriate fashion.”
I was on the outskirts of the market as there were so many people on the inside, many people were not wearing any masks at all and there was definitely no two-metre distancing.
Luke Brown, who visited the market in Nottingham
The city was placed in Tier 3 – the toughest measures – of the new Covid-19 restrictions which came into force in England from Wednesday after the four-week national lockdown.
London, Manchester and Lincoln also saw huge swarms of Christmas shoppers this weekend.
Today luxury store Harrods in London was “overrun” with 300 young people without facemasks believed to be members of the traveller community.
Worried on-lookers described chaotic scenes that triggered fears of a terrorist attack as those gathered outside the luxury store tried to force their way in.
Photos show the large crowd – which gathered around 11.30am – crammed into a pedestrian street outside Harrods
Most of the people involved were not wearing masks or respecting social distancing rules, according to witnesses.
They described bottles being thrown and a security guard being punched, while cops made four arrests.
Sam Tressle, 26, said he was setting up his coffee stand when “suddenly people started running”.
“There were about 200 to 300 people, and I initially thought it was a terrorist attack,” he said.
Hundreds of people were told to go home after Nottingham Christmas market became overrunCredit: Ashley Kirk
A line of people wait outside a shop in Manchester, with few wearing facemasksCredit: Zenpix
Groups of teens gathered at the Nottingham market with very little social distancing being doneCredit: Ashley Kirk
London was chaotic today with thousands of shoppers getting ready for ChristmasCredit: Getty Images – Getty
Huge crowds formed outside Harrods in London believed to be from the traveller community