Christmas Village in Philadelphia returning with safety protocols

Masks and social distancing will be required.
PHILADELPHIA (WPVI) -- Christmas Village in Philadelphia is returning this holiday season with some safety protocols amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

Organizers said Wednesday the open-air German-style Christmas Market will be back with a new socially distanced layout, reduced vendor capacity, and a separated food area.

Christmas Village in Philadelphia will return to LOVE Park, the north apron of City Hall and the City Hall Courtyard from Thanksgiving to Christmas Eve, with a special preview weekend on November 21-22.

All visitors must wear masks at all times, unless seated in the food court while they consume their food and drinks, organizers said.

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Guests are advised to keep at least "one Christmas tree length apart" - at minimum of six feet in distance - in all directions to fellow shoppers and vendors and to sanitize their hands frequently at one of the installed sanitizing stations throughout the park.

"Visitors are encouraged to not only wear their masks, follow social distance guidelines, and keep in direction with the new layout, but everyone who visits is asked to join together and ensure their partner, spouse, children, family and friends also do the same and follow the new protocols," organizers said in a press release.

For its 13th season, the outdoor shopping area will be set up with a one-way system around the outer limits of LOVE Park for a linear and spaced walking concept allowing proper social distancing.

Organizers said extensive signage will guide visitors in the right directions and remind them to follow all rules.

All vendors will be ten feet apart from each other at minimum.

Vendors around the outer perimeter will also all face outward toward the street. The market will run at 50 percent of exhibitors but still with more than 60 vendors.

Waiting areas for access to the food court and shopping will all be socially distanced.

"After a very challenging year, we are excited to bring back a safe and socially distanced version of Christmas Village in Philadelphia without losing the charm of a traditional European Christmas market," said Christmas Village President Thomas Bauer. "We are extremely thankful to the City of Philadelphia, Philadelphia Parks & Recreation and the Philadelphia Health Department for their support and guidance to give Philadelphians something positive to look forward to during the holiday season and to bring back a piece of normalcy in 2020."

Organizers said the beloved Holiday Carousel will also return in a socially distanced way - more details are to be announced.

Guests that feel sick or have been in contact with a sick person are required to stay home, organizers said.
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