A popular street food market in south London was told to close by police after customers were seven minutes late to leave.
Mercato Metropolitano posted on Twitter how they were shut down on Monday night, days before the venue would have had to close for the national lockdown.
However, they said the decision had since been reversed and they would be allowed to remain open for Wednesday.
In an initial statement, they said: ‘We are forced to close our Elephant & Castle market until further notice by the police.
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‘We apologise for the inconvenience especially to our customers queuing outside or asked to leave our premises because of the immediate effect of the order.’
They added: ‘We are not sure how this closure benefits anyone, but we’re sure you can guess how disappointed we are with our government institutions, particularly after spending the last four years serving our wonderful community.
‘We can’t find a reason for how this closure order, coming two days before the lockdown, benefits anyone; including our trading partners which are small businesses bracing for the impact of the second lockdown.’
They later updated to say officers had visited to say the decision had been overturned, and: ‘We invite all of you to come and enjoy one more day in our market before the lockdown.’
The market is compromised of dozens of small bars and street food vendors with tables placed around for people to enjoy their purchases.
Mercato Metropolitano said their MM Grocery will stay open, which means they will be able to continue handing out free meals to school children from vulnerable families.
Under current government rules, businesses have to stop serving food and alcohol by a 10pm curfew.
This will be replaced by a new national lockdown tomorrow, when all restaurants and pubs will have to close full stop, except for takeaway food.
The Metropolitan Police have been contacted for comment.
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