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Newmarket and Mildenhall markets closed by West Suffolk Council as coronavirus fears keep away visitors and traders

Newmarket's market has now closed because the number of traders and visitors dwindled as they stayed away because of coronavirus fears.

The High Street market, which is usually on Tuesday and Saturday, has now shut, along with Mildenhall's and others around West Suffolk.

West Suffolk Council said it tried to keep the market running for as long as possible, but it could now 'no longer be done'.

A market has been in Newmarket for 800 years (32716826)
A market has been in Newmarket for 800 years (32716826)

Market traders and users had been following social spacing guidelines set out by the government.

But the authority said it could no longer be kept open because the numbers of traders and visitors dwindled, and said it will be able to redeploy its staff in the fight to tackle the virus and its impact.

West Suffolk Council said it was working with traders to minimise the impact on them and their customers, and will keep the closures under review.

Cllr John Griffiths, Leader of West Suffolk Council, said: “Having a market in our towns is part of their history. But these are extraordinary times and an operational decision had to be made in the face of dwindling numbers at the markets, increased demands on staff and safety.

"Our staff can also be better used in other even more demanding areas to tackle the impact of COVID-19.

"I would like to thank all those who did use our markets ,and of course our traders , for sticking to the rules and keeping people safe. I recognise this may be a blow for some, but we will continue to work with traders on other initiatives and of course, as soon as we can safely , re-open the markets.”