Tameside's outdoor markets are set to reopen from this week in a phased approach, the council has confirmed.
The outdoor markets in Ashton and Hyde town centres respectively had initially been due to open last week, in line with non-essential shops across the borough reopening.
But it was delayed amid concerns that the R rate throughout the North West had risen and the risks it would pose to wider public health.
However, the council has now advised that outdoor markets can begin to reopen from Monday (22 June).
The authority says it has reviewed the latest data, which shows an improvement in Covid-19 infection trends, and has worked with traders to ensure that appropriate safety measures will be in place.
The markets will reopen through a phased approach with reduced opening times initially.
Ashton market ground’s hours will reduced from seven days to a Tuesday (Mixed) and Friday & Saturday (General Retail) 9am to 4pm.
Hyde market ground’s hours will reduce from six days to a Monday (Mixed) and Wednesday & Saturday (General Retail) 9am to 4pm.
It will provide a five day trading/shopping opportunity across Tameside, which the council say will be reviewed at the end of each week.
Ashton and Hyde indoor markets have remained open with strict social distancing measures in place which limit the number of shoppers accessing the building at any one time. All the markets have safety measures in place to encourage social distancing to keep shoppers, traders, and staff safe.
A Tameside Council spokesperson said: "We wish to thank traders for their support last week after we delayed the reopening of outdoor markets – the vast majority welcomed the move on safety grounds. However we have more reason to be optimistic about the current Covid-19 infection rate and feel that, with the right measures in place, it is safer now to reopen the outdoor markets and support businesses to get back up and running and trade.
"Tameside Markets are looking forward to welcoming shoppers back onto our outdoor markets but we do ask that that people are responsible about following public health and social distancing advice – wash your hands well, keep the required distance apart and leave as soon as you have bought what you need."
Ashton outdoor market before the coronavirus pandemic.