Farmers’ Markets have been designated by the province as essential 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.
***Update May 17th: Farmers’ markets, as retail spaces, are under current capacity restrictions..
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.
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 2021 market season. You can find that here (please note that this document is in the process of being updated by the Public Health Unit): Guidance for Farmers’ Markets
All farmers’ markets within Manitoba must implement the measures listed below (from the Guidance for Farmers’ Markets)
- 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.
- Food vendors should not attend the market if ill with COVID-19 symptoms such as fever, cough or other respiratory symptoms.
- Markets need to provide customers with facilities for hand-washing and/or access to hand sanitizers.
- Food samples are not permitted at this time.
- 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.
- Product handling and touching should be minimized.
- 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. 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.
Member Markets: if you have questions, please reach out to us at [email protected]