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Coronavirus Kent: Deal's High Street of the Year becomes a ghost town amid Covid-19 lock down and Market closure

A former winner of High Street of the Year was a ghost town this morning as townsfolk in Deal respected the lock down.

The town, with its usual vibrant mix of independent and chain shops, cafes bars and restaurants, was champ in The Telegraph's competition in 2014 but Coronavirus has put paid to the bustling precinct we normally see.

This morning the doors of restaurants and the arcade at Beach Street stayed firmly shut and the main car park at Middle Street was eerily empty except for a scattering of cars.

While delivery drivers continued restocking essential stores the occasional dog walker or exerciser passed by.

Otherwise the High Street was a ghost town where our award winning selection of independent stores and hairdressers were forced to close on Monday.

Among the stores that remain open are Rooks the Butchers, Savers, Poundland and Superdrug.

Newsagents, grocers and convenience stores are also permitted to trade as well as larger supermarkets.

Elderly customers at Sainsbury's, making the most of their priority shopping slot, were seen queuing, two metres apart, from the store's doors to West Street and the car park at Aldi seemed full.

Meanwhile, Deal Town Council has announced the Saturday Market will be closed for an indefinite period.

A spokesman said: "Although the market is an outdoor event the council was mindful that unlike supermarkets, butchers, greengrocers etc Deal Town Council does not have the resources to safely manage social distancing. It does not have powers to insist on cash free purchasing nor can it supply antibacterial gel and handwashing facilities for all.

"We understand that some food traders, are now offering delivery services to our residents.If you can do this, please let us know and we will be happy to advertise your contact details on the Council website and notice boards.Please email deal.town.council@deal.gov.uk .

"The Council understands that some traders and visitors will be disappointed with this decision.However, the health, safety and wellbeing of the Deal residents, staff and visitors must be our priority for the foreseeable future."

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