Market cancelled amid coronavirus fears

Community concern over potential coronavirus transmission resulted in the cancellation of the Lancefield and District Farmers Market last Saturday.
Vivien Philpotts, Lancefield Neighbourhood House coordinator and Lancefield Park Committee of Management member, explained that both committees had decided the market was attracting too many people from outside of town and putting people in the community at risk of catching the virus.
The market is usually held along the village green in the main street of town but for the past few months has been held at Lancefield Park to allow for greater social distancing for shoppers and stallholders.
Local police officers had agreed to attend on Saturday to conduct number plate scanning and issue fines to people attending from lockdown areas, but public concern first led to the market being returned to the village green before ultimately being cancelled altogether.
“It’s just been the feeling of the majority of people on both of those committees that they would not want to be responsible for any outbreak that might occur as a result of the market,” Ms Philpotts said.
“The market was taking every measure that it could to ensure that there was social distancing, hand sanitiser at regular points and police checking that people were not from lockdown areas, but there were people concerned in the community that there was a risk of people coming from outside.”
Ms Philpotts said that while there were a number of people in the community who were fearful, others had had a different perspective.
“The strongest feeling has been to protect the community, but personally I am very concerned that this virus is being so divisive in our communities, in our suburbs and between states,” she said.
“Emotions are running high and people are disagreeing in our communities and it’s a bit sad.
“At this point we are unsure when the market will be able to return.”

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