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Manitoba Farmers’ Markets: COVID-19

Farmers’ Markets have been designated by the province as critical services. They are important places for Manitobans to access fresh, local food, while supporting the livelihoods of local farmers and producers.  In a time of unrest, they are a vital part of the food supply chain.

**As of May 4th, farmers’ markets are now allowed to sell all items on site.

***Update November 2nd: Farmers’ markets, as retail spaces, remain open under the code red restrictions in the Winnipeg area.

Direct Farm Manitoba encourages all of its markets to stay up to date and closely monitor current information pertaining to COVID-19, and to follow all guidelines set by Manitoba Health, Seniors and Active Living and the Public Health Agency of Canada.

Most of Manitoba’s markets will not be opening their 2020 season until late May onwards. As the situation evolves, it remains our top priority to maintain the health and safety of all customers, market staff, farmers, and vendors.

DFM encourages coordinators to reach out to their Local Health Authority to discuss the measures the market is taking to mitigate risk and ensure the health of market attendees, vendors, and staff.

An addendum has been released that should be used in conjunction with the Farmers’ Market Guidelines for the 2020 market season. You can find that here: Guidance for Farmers’ Markets

All farmers’ markets within Manitoba must implement the measures listed below.

Physical Distancing

  • Market operators must provide adequate space to ensure physical distancing of two metres (six feet) between customers and vendors. Limit the number of customers within a space (inside or outside a building) to practice safe physical distancing and manage line-ups at entryways and booths.
  • Vendor booths must be set up with enough space between them to allow customers to maintain a two metre (six feet) distance from one another while moving through the spaces.
  • Entry and exit points should be minimized to control the number of customers within the market space, as well as the directional flow of customers.
  • For more crowded venues, it is suggested to use a one direction flow for the public to follow. This can be achieved by using signs, tape, pylons etc. to direct customers, and still allow for the two metre (six feet) distancing requirements.
  • Seating areas for customers to dine or congregate should be removed.

Additional measures

  • Food vendors should not attend the market if ill with COVID-19 symptoms such as fever, cough or other respiratory symptoms.
  • Market vendors need to provide customers with facilities for hand-washing and/or access to hand sanitizers.
  • Vendors can’t supply food samples.
  • The markets cannot provide food buffets, self-service of food or items, such as napkins, cutlery and straws.
  • Customers with re-usable bags must bring clean bags and bag their own purchases. Otherwise, market vendors should provide plastic bags.
  • Product handling and touching should be minimized. Ideally, products should be pre-packaged prior to arriving at the market.
  • Permitted food operators, such as pushcarts, mobile food trucks and temporary food booths can provide only take-away meals.
  • Vendors should offer payment methods that promote minimum contact, when possible.
  • Market coordinators are encourage to post signage reminding customers and vendors not to attend the market if ill with COVID-19 symptoms, such as fever, cough or other respiratory symptoms.
  • Market coordinators should remind vendors to increase frequency of cleaning and disinfecting commonly touched surfaces. Items that are frequently touched by the public such as doorknobs or handles should be cleaned and disinfected every two to four hours, or more frequently as needed, and a minimum of twice a day. More commonly touched items such as pay pads that are not hands free need to be disinfected after each use.

For more information please visit:

Manitoba Health, Seniors and Active Living

Public Health Agency of Canada- Corona Virus

For questions about the COVID-19 you can also contact Health Links:
To speak to a Health Links – Info Santé registered nurse, please call 204-788-8200 or toll-free 1-888-315-9257.