An Old Market Hall sign. Photo: Paul Williams / Helsinki City

Helsinki’s Old Market Hall to continue operations

On 6 April, Helsinki’s leadership decided to allow the Vanha Kauppahalli market hall to remain open for the time being. The decision reversed an earlier municipal ruling to shutter operations because of the coronavirus, after several of the market hall’s vendors petitioned to continue operations under reduced opening hours. 

The City of Helsinki has retracted an earlier decision to shut down Vanha Kauppahalli, an indoor market hall near the city centre waterfront. A third of the historic retail location’s vendors appealed to the city to reverse its decision, after municipal officials announced last week that operations would cease on 9 April. Several of the entrepreneurs with businesses in the hall had to show interest to justify keeping the market hall open in compliance with the requisite safety precautions.

”As the coronavirus crisis carries on, the city must enact policies in many areas quickly. At the same time, we strive to listen to what the business owners and stakeholders have to say. The situation is changing all the time. It’s great that entrepreneurs working in the market hall are geared up to continue, and we hope that customers will continue to use the indoor market hall’s services, with the necessary regard for people’s safety and hygiene,” said Helsinki Mayor Jan Vapaavuori.

Operations will continue as normal in the temporary premises of the Hakaniemi Market Hall. Restaurants in the Hakaniemi hall will close, but the other stalls will remain open, according to the vendors’ wishes.

The Old Market Hall will be open Mondays to Saturdays from 10 am to 6 pm, until further notice. This coming Easter holiday, the doors will be open on Saturday, 11 April from 10 am to 6 pm, but closed on Friday, Sunday and Monday.

The new opening hours will have no effect on the rental payments of the firms doing business in the market hall, as the city had earlier decided to waive rental payments on market hall space in the city for three months. This decision will remain in force.

The Hietalahti Market Hall, which houses restaurants, will stay closed for the time being. A few of the vendors in the Hietalahti hall will however sell food for takeaway between Monday and Saturday from 10 am to 6 pm. Customers are not allowed inside the building, so vendors are using the entrance to the market hall as a makeshift pick-up area.