COVID-19 - updated government guidelines

New COVID-19 restrictions to stop the spread of Omicron

To prevent rapid spread of the Omicron variant, the following restrictions are being introduced in England from 4am on Tuesday 30 November 2021:

  • The reintroduction of mandatory face coverings in shops (e.g.: places that offer goods or services for retail sale or hire, malls and indoor markets), on public transport, post offices, banks, premises providing personal care and beauty treatmetns, pharmacies, takeaways without space for consumption of food or drink on premises etc.
  • Pupils in Year 7 and above, as well as school staff and visitors, are advised to wear face coverings in communal areas.
  • All international arrivals have to self-isolate, do a PCR test within 2 days, and self-isolate until they receive a negative result.
  • The reintroduction of the red travel quarantine list for travellers from 10 countries in Southern Africa.
  • All contacts of suspected Omicron cases must self-isolate for 10 days regardless of their vaccination status.

For more information, please visit: Measures against Omicron variant come into effect: 30 November 2021 - GOV.UK (

It is essential that businesses continue to operate in a responsible and COVID-19 secure way.

Traders  should have reviewed and implemented the Government’s guidance on minimising the risks and operating safely.

Markets to operate as business as usual:

During the pandemic we kept all permanent street trading licences suspended and temporary regeneration fees were applied to all traders in Camden, to support traders in their return to trade.  This approach allowed flexibility of in paying a reduced fee only for the days that traders wished to trade and allowing for different days/markets/commodities to be tested.
In the line with the Government's decision to ease of the restrictions across different work streams, we have agreed to remove the social distancing measures from our markets to accommodate traders steadily returning to trade.  Pitch allocations are being reviewed to ensure that permanent licensees can trade from their licensed pitches. 

All traders must carry on with ‘hands, face, space’ and comply with the COVID-secure measures in all markets and trading locations.

We will continue to monitor the updating Government guidance. Please visit the current guidance that covers open air markets for more information.

Risk assessments:

All traders planning to resume trade will be required to undertake a risk assessment to ensure they are operating as a COVID-19 secure business. This is to protect both staff and customers from infection, or the potential spread of infection from asymptomatic people. 

Find the suggested guidance and risk assessment templates 


All staff working on a stall must be registered with the Market Team.

It is important to protect your staff from coronavirus. The best protection for your staff is regular handwashing and to maintain a 2m distance from other staff and customers where possible, and 1m with mitigation where it isn’t. Staff should travel separately to work and not car share, should follow all safety measures on public transport and have a change of clothes for the workplace. It is recommended that regular shifts are organised, so people are working with the smallest number of different people as possible.

You are required by law to report if a member of staff tests positive for coronavirus. You may need to ask all your staff to self-isolate if one becomes infected so reiterate the advice to stay at home if they feel unwell, have a temperature or cough.


It is your responsibility to manage the queues that form outside your stall and to ensure that customers are maintaining social distancing. This is 2m, or 1m with mitigation where 2m is not viable. You are required to manage your own queues and ensure compliance with the social distancing rules.

Face Masks:

Traders and their registered assistants are required to wear face mask at all times when carrying street trading activities. You must tell customers of the requirement to wear face coverings where social distancing is not possible and have signs displayed so they can easily see and read them. The requirement to wear a face covering does not apply to specific circumstances set out in the Regulations and guidance.

Social Distancing on our trading sites:

All markets have been risk assessed in accrodance to the COVID-19 saftery guidance. 

Street trading licences process:

We are looking to re-instate all permanent street trading licences and full fees with effect from 22 November 2021 until 31 March 2022 (4-5 months) pro-rata . The  full fees will apply. 

We will be sending invoice statements to all permanent traders.  

Traders that hold a licence for market areas, where there is a flexible licence fee, please review your permanent street trading licence(s) and confirm that you wish to remain licensed for the days, times, and commodities prescribed on your licence.  Please submit partial surrender, surrender or variation requests as soon as possible so that you are charged the correct amount for trading.

If you wish to trade or continue trading you must submit a request for a temporary licence to the street trading team in writing in advance (at least 48 hours during working hours and office days) to the providing details of:

  • the market or street trading location you wish to trade at
  • goods that you would like to offer for sale
  • days on which you would like to trade
  • Covid-19 Risk Assessment

Note: Please ensure your Employers/Public Insurance Liability certificate, Food hygiene Level 2 certificate, Gas certificate, Pat test are valid to prevent delays.

If you wish to add registered assistants, vary your commodities or add additional pitch, the full fees will apply.

Parking Permits can only be issued to vehicles registered in the name of the Licensee and will be withdrawn if:

  • The licence holder does not trade for a period of four weeks or more
  • The vehicle has unpaid parking fines 
  • The vehicle and/or users causes complaints from residents .

Some permanent traders have outstanding debts on their account for 2019/20 . Although no action was taken to request the settlement of this debt, we will be writing to those traders to ensure that the debt is settled before we raise the invoices. Please note that arrears on your account will be grounds to propose not to renew your licence in 2022. 

Some permanent traders have outstanding debts on their account for 2019/20. This will be offset against the invoice we will raise in November 2021.

For those of our traders who are unable to trade, information about support is updated on our dedicated webpage.

Fees re-instatement:

As from 22 November 2021, we are looking to :

  • Apply the full street trading charges.  Please visit the fees and charges page for more information. 
  • Raise all invoices for permanent traders applying full fees.
  • Registered casual trader (existing traders)/new trader trading on temporary street trading licence: traders have to make a request to the markets team and make advance online payment  prior to trade. All requests to be submitted in advance of trading (at least 48 hours prior trading),  Mondays to Fridays during office hours and make online payment prior to trade by following this link: Market Traders.
  • Offer to temporary registered traders and new applicants to book pitch(es) in advance of trade up to 3 to 6 months subject to pitch availability and payment. 

Market Licensees/miscellaneous sites kiosk (not trading since April 2020): 
Permanent licence holders that are not currently trading, please review your current licence allocation and make contact with the markets team to amend your licence. The option to vary licences by reducing days is only available for traders operating in markets with a daily charge tariff.

Market Licensees/miscellaneous sites kiosk (currently trading):

Few traders have been trialling other markets, for instance Queens Crescent on Thursday and Saturday. Please review your permanent street trading licence to either vary your licence to reduce days and/or to apply to trade at other Markets. You will need to submit a formal application and your request will be considered.

Undesignated miscellaneous sites and traders 6 months on temporary licences:
Traders trading on a temporary street trading licence will be charged the temporary licence fee applicable to their commodity.
Red Telephone kiosk:
If you are using the telephone box only the fee of £18.42 and if you are using the telephone box and an additional space the daily charge will be £25.50.

Forecourt street trading charges: 

Normal fees will apply.

Note:  the above applies for all new applicants wishing to trade on our markets. If you decide not to trade once the temporary street licence has been issued, you can surrender the licence but the fee will be non-transferable and non-refundable. Any request for refund will be dealt on its merit.

If you break the rules:

The Police can take action against you if you meet in larger groups. This includes breaking up illegal gatherings and issuing fines (fixed penalty notices).

You can be given a Fixed Penalty Notice of £200 for the first offence, doubling for further offences up to a maximum of £6,400. If you hold, or are involved in holding, an illegal gathering of over 30 people, the police can issue fines of £10,000.

Note: This above advice is subject to change if Government advice is amended. You will be notified of any future change.

Why you should become a street trader

With its low start-up and running costs, street trading is a great way to start your own business.

Many thriving businesses started as market stalls; from familiar high street names such as Marks & Spencer, Poundland, and Tesco to fashion brands such as Dunelm and Super Dry as well as snack companies like Innocent drinks. Markets are exciting and vibrant places, even if you just want to work for yourself and are not yet ready to start a retail empire.

Different private markets have different arrangements for renting their pitches and stalls to traders including written contracts and informal, daily, arrangements.

The Council licences traders under the London Local Authorities Act 1990 (as amended) and our traders enjoy certain legal protections. Unlike commercial operators, we cannot use fees and charges from our traders to generate a profit and must set the fees based on the cost of providing the service. This is why trading on Council run markets is often much cheaper than trading on private markets.

Our market’s team currently licenses trading on:

  • our eight street markets
  • our fifty miscellaneous sites and kiosks (these are usually on busy streets or outside tube stations and are often florists or newsagents)
  • forecourts (this is trading on private land where the customer is on the street whilst being served, often this is where a shop owns some pavement and is renting it to another businesses or where the shop owner is selling something different to the business of their shop)

We also grant licences for special events that involve street trading.

Consent to put tables and chairs on the street is dealt with by our Customer Service Team.

Getting training and obtaining loans

If you are resident in London you might qualify for Start Up Step Up London, a programme designed to help Londoners access entrepreneurship and improve their enterprise skills.

You can find out more information about becoming a street trader, and accessing low-cost funding to help you start your business, at the following places:

Equipment suppliers

There are many places to buy market equipment but the following links are a good place to start:

Market equipment and stalls

Electrical adapters

Find storage space

Some of our markets are close to housing estates that have vacant garages.

For information about who can rent garages and costs, please see our Apply for a garage page. Applications are handled by our Estate Management Team.

If you are applying for a garage, please use the lookup function to find your address, if you manually enter your address; the form will fail and your application will be lost:

Apply for a garage on a housing estate

Before you start your application

To hold a licence you must be 17 years of age or older.

Insurance cover

Having the correct insurance ensures that, in the event of an accident, you, your workers, customers, and other members of the public are covered.

You must have public liability insurance covering a minimum of £5 million throughout the licensed period before you start trading.

If you are employing someone to work for you, you must also have Employers Liability Insurance.

This insurance should cost under £150 per annum and is included in the membership fee of the National Market Traders Federation or can be obtained through an insurance broker.

Additional requirements to sell food

To sell food you need to register with us as a food business. It is free to register, and your registration cannot be refused. You should register at least 28 days before trading. If you are preparing, cooking, or storing food at another location this must also be registered with the local authority where it is located.

Apply to trade on a street market

Market sites

Our street markets offer a range of varied trading hours and days that allows flexible trading arrangements and gives individuals the opportunity to work the hours that support their home or work commitments.

We issue Temporary Registration Certificates and Temporary Licences. The Temporary Registrations allows the holder to apply for daily, weekly or monthly temporary licences across all our markets and market days, allowing flexibility of commodity at each application.  Trading payments must be paid in full prior to trade.

Temporary Licences issued for six monthly periods detail the pitch location and commodities that can be sold and trading fees are payable Monthly in advance of trade.

Please visit our Camden's markets pages for more information about each market to help you choose the best location for your business. 

All new traders can apply for a Temporary Registration Certificate that will enable them to trade in any of the Local Authority Street Markets

You will require an e-copy of the following documents as part of your application:

  • a copy of your Public liability insurance policy (£5 million minimum ) (not required unless you are ready to trade immediately.  You just need to be able to provide prior to booking to trade for the first time)
  • proof of address of applicant (a copy of a Utility bill, Council Tax bill or bank statement dated from within the past three months of this application) 
  • proof of National insurance number of applicant 
  • proof of identity of applicant (passport or ID card) 
  • a recent passport size photograph of the applicant 
  • accredited food hygiene certificate (level 2) (for all food applications
  • proof that your business is registered with a local authority (Food Only)

Please note, we only accept files in the following formats: docx, bmp, gif, jpeg, png, pdf

You can submit an application for a Temporary Registration card or Temporary Registration Renewal using the link below.

Temporary Registration Application (Temp Reg and Temp Reg Renew)

Kiosk and Ice cream sites

Six Monthly Temporary Licence for isolated pitch locations (kiosks, Ice Cream Sites, Isolated Pitch sites) are subject to availability and will be advertised on our web site only when there are vacancies

These licences will be issued following an interview process.

If you are interested in trading at a kiosk/isolated pitch or ice cream site, please use the link below to apply, when it is active.

Note: before you apply, please prepare and submit an e-copy of the listed documents as part of your application.

We only accept files in the following formats: docx, bmp, gif, jpeg, png, pdf.

  • a copy of your Public liability insurance policy (£5 million minimum) (This can be submitted if you are successful and offered a licence)
  • proof of address of applicant (a copy of a bill or bank statement dated from within the past three months of this application) 
  • proof of National insurance number of applicant 
  • proof of identity of applicant (passport or ID card) 
  • a recent passport size photograph of the applicant 
  • accredited food hygiene certificate (level 2) (for all food applications
  • proof that your business is registered with a local authority (Food Only)
  • pictures of your stall set up ready to trade
  • evidence of Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Points (HACCP)
Kiosk/Isolated pitch Application (including ice cream sites)

Trading payments

From 21 June 2021, all registered temporary card holders are required to complete the online payment link to request allocation of a temporary licence for the pitches, markets, and days they wish to trade.

All requests must be made 72 hours prior to trade. The trading fee for the markets, days and number of pitches requested needs to be calculated and paid in full. 

Note: Fees are not refundable or transferrable in general, but any requests to cancel licences and associated fees will be considered on a case by case basis.

Please include the detail of your request in the notes field. There is no guarantee you will be allocated the pitch(es) requested, but we will work to accommodate all requests. If uncertain please email prior to making payment and confirmation of the payment amount and pitch allocation will be provided.

Click here to make an online payment

Note: After completing the payment, traders will receive an acknowledgement email and confirmation email for allocation of pitch(es) for relevant days and markets.

We will no longer be issuing temporary licences and the proof of trading will be the acknowledgment email from the Market team. Please ensure you keep the email confirmation as your proof of trading on request by an authorised officer.

Special Offer:

As you may be aware there is an experimental Traffic management Order in place at Queen's Crescent to create additional trading opportunities. 

The road is closed from 11 am and your vehicles will be exempt from any camera enforcement should you wish to trade. There will be no charge for trading on these additional days until further notice. If you are interested in this opportunity, please contact the Markets Team.

If you are interested in trading at Queen’s Crescent Market and are currently licensed with another London local authority you can trade at Queen’s Crescent for two weeks without the need to fully comply with our current licensing process. All you need to do is to provide us a copy of your trading license and a public liability insurance certificate.

Charity and community stalls

Camden welcomes charities and volunteers to join any market for free. There are no fees if you are not offering something for sale. Fees are negotiable/not applicable for groups selling to fund activity or promote activity. Apply for a charity or community stall.

You will be required to provide a copy of your Public Liability insurance. This insurance should cost under £150 per annum and is included in the membership fee of the National Market Traders Federation or can be obtained through an insurance broker.

License a forecourt

This is trading on private land where the customer is on the street whilst being served, often this is where a shop owns some pavement and is renting it to another businesses or where the shop owner is running a business distinct from their shop on their own forecourt.

Apply to sell Christmas trees

Trading sites available for 2021:

  • Fortune Green Cemetry/Queens C
  • Camden Road (Junction of Royal College Street)
  • West End Lane (by St. James’ church)
  • Hampstead Cemetery
  • Chalk Farm Road
  • Whitestone Pond
  • Queen's Crescent market
  • Inverness Street market
  • Plender Street
  • Eton Avenue (Swiss Cottage Market)
  • Chalton Street market
  • Leather Lane market
  • Earlham Street Market
  • Goodge Place Market

Pitch dimensions: 4m x 2m

The closing date to submit your application is Monday, 22 November 2021 at:

Fees applicable:

  • Markets: £23.46 daily pitch rate
  • Queens Crescent and Chalton Street markets: £10.20 per pitch per day and £6.12 per additional pitch
  • Miscellaneous sites and out of market sites £25.50 daily pitch rate 

Please note: there is a non-refundable application fee of £61.60 and an additional fee of £20.40 per registered assistant.