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A bird's eye view of the market during Alert Level 1. Photo: ODT files.
A bird's eye view of the market during Alert Level 1. Photo: ODT files.
An allegation of Covid protocol breaches at the Otago Farmers Market at the weekend is believed to be the first major Covid-related callout for Dunedin police in six months.

A member of the public contacted the Dunedin City Council on Saturday morning with concerns organisers were not recording visitors to the Dunedin market, open area retail protocols were not being followed, and visitors were not distancing properly.

Senior Sergeant Craig Dinnissen, of Dunedin, said police investigated but found the organisers were following the Level 2 protocols and were recording visitors as in previous lockdowns.

"That’s really the first one [complaint] we’ve actually had over the recent Covid incidents."

While the complainant appeared to be overzealous in this instance, Snr Sgt Dinnissen welcomed the complaint.

"People with concerns about Covid breaches while we are under these restrictions are encouraged to report them.

"In this case it turned out to be OK.

"But unless we are notified, we can’t assess it and give a direction."

Otago Farmers Market general manager Michele Driscoll was pleased people were still taking Covid seriously.

"I think it’s good that people are being careful and making sure that we are abiding by the rules. It keeps us in check."

She said market organisers had worked hard to make sure people were recording their visit and spacing properly.

"We requested everyone to respect the 2m rule.

"No food samples were put out and staff and volunteers all wore masks."

To stop people congregating in one area, no tables and chairs were put out, fewer buskers were allowed to perform, the stalls were well spaced and crosses were placed on the pavement to encourage spacing in queues.

Staff and volunteers also walked around with QR codes to remind people to sign in, and also dispersed people congregating.

"We also encouraged one person from each flat or household to come and shop rather than the whole family, so we could keep the numbers down.

"Without being totally dictatorial, we were encouraging people to buy and go."

The market will resume as usual again this Saturday.



Why they don't move it to a larger park or something I will never know. Current site has next to no parking, and you can't even swing a salami

"While the complainant appeared to be overzealous in this instance" pretty much this right there, mind you didn't the pm say to dob in those around you so she was only following what she was told.



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