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02 December 2021

Opinion from Adrian Leopard & Co

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Markets cancelled – it can’t be all right, can it?
Adrian Leopard 138

Markets cancelled – it can’t be all right, can it?

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Let’s hope this is not the start of mass cancellations

With the news that the Christmas markets both at Bath and Leeds have been cancelled, we surely cannot be in any doubt that the situation is serious regardless of what the government would like us to think.

Christmas markets are fun! They are an opportunity for people to go out and enjoy the growing Christmas spirit; you can get hot mulled wines, nice things to eat and always a flavour of that German internationalism.

And that’s what we are going to have this year as the pandemic is over bar the shouting. Right?

Well not quite.

Good news is that the renowned Birmingham Christmas market is all set to go with all the usual trimmings. The market was cancelled in 2020 due to the pandemic but this year the council has decided it can go ahead. And there are some terrific websites telling you all about it – try these:

https://visitbirmingham.com/whats-on/birmingham-frankfurt-christmas-market-p1323321

https://www.birminghammail.co.uk/whats-on/whats-on-news/birmingham-german-christmas-market-2021-21459353

https://www.birmingham.gov.uk/news/article/966/birmingham_s_frankfurt_christmas_market_2021

https://www.europeanbestdestinations.com/christmas-markets/birmingham/

And with the most authentic Frankfurt market outside Germany and Austria, who needs to go to Germany anyway? Another opportunity for a bit of staycation! And it’s very easy to get to – train stations nearby, all the transport facilities of Birmingham. It’s a place for a super day out.

Sadly this is not the case for everywhere. By contrast, the website for the Bath market brings up a sad message, namely that the market as normally envisaged cannot go ahead. See here:

https://bathchristmasmarket.co.uk/

They hope however that all their artisans will still be able to sell their wares and bring some Christmas flavour to the city.

Another city cancelling its market this year is Leeds and their site tells us it is down to their Frankfurt partners as a result of the pandemic and an inability to plan.

https://www.itv.com/news/calendar/2021-09-16/leeds-christmas-market-2021-cancelled

Again by contrast, Manchester is determined to go ahead with its markets:

https://www.manchestereveningnews.co.uk/whats-on/whats-on-news/manchester-christmas-markets-go-ahead-21594059

However, these decisions seem to be uncertain; the Bath market comes up on your Google search as going ahead, until you click on the link and as the pandemic’s future is uncertain, so must be the future of mass events, and indeed there will be Christmas itself. We are indeed on moving ground.

Last year the government determined to allow us to have some relaxation of restrictions over Christmas and indeed it would be a brave Prime Minister who would take any decision to restrict things this year but the truth is that we just do not know. The continuing arguments both ways amongst the experts just leave everyone watching what is going on rather like at a tennis match.

Just at the moment rates of new cases are easing off and the seven day rolling figure today is down to 206000, having been at 272000 a few days ago, even though today is up on both of the past two days. But the trouble with this pandemic is that the numbers go up and down like a rollercoaster. Deaths continue to rise but the interactive maps are beginning to show areas of green appearing, meaning that the incidence of new cases in those areas is broadly between 50 and 99 or in the rare light green patches, 10 to 49 but there weren’t any light green patches a day or so ago.

In the meanwhile we await announcements anticipated to inform us that foreign travel is being relaxed as well. That would please people and travel businesses.

So perhaps it is all over bar the shouting? What do you think? Perhaps don’t hold your breath just yet.

Adrian Leopard 17-09-21

Photo Daniil Silantev

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