The BC CDC includes farmers markets as an essential service and has stated that “Farmers’ markets are not currently considered a high risk setting for the transmission of COVID-19.” We agree that farmers markets are an essential element in food distribution and local food security. Therefore, we will remain open as long as we are able, but with a number of limitations and measures in place for the security and well being of our vendors, staff, customers, families, and communities. We are in regular contact with Vancouver Island Health Authority to ensure we are complying with their instructions and recommendations and those of the Provincial Health Officer and BC Centre for Disease Control.
During this time, farmers markets may sell only farm products (including fresh fruits, vegetables, eggs, frozen meats, edible plants and seedlings), prepared foods, non-alcoholic beverages, and liquor. Effective June 6, 2020, per BC CDC regulations, we expanded to include craft and artisan vendors at the market.
We have modified our market operations to comply with social distancing and public health protocols, as follows:
- We have created an environment in the market where customers can practice safe physical distancing. All of our vendor queues are market with 2 metre separations. Pylons denote the starting points for customer queues at each stall. Customers are to approach a vendor stall only after the previous customer has concluded their transaction and the vendor calls on them.
- Customers are to not handle products before they are bought. Customers must ask the vendor to assemble the items they wish to purchase.
- We provide access to two washrooms and a hand sanitizer station.
- We have discontinue all food sampling.
- We have canceled activities that promote gatherings, such live musicians.
- We have implemented enhanced frequency of cleaning and disinfection of high touch surfaces within the market.
- We restrict entry to anyone who is ill, including staff, vendors, and customers.
- We have established an online store at localline.ca/moss-street-market and an Online Order Pickup Tent.
- We have asked our vendors, where feasible, to utilize cashless payment systems.
We are now operating as only a food outlet and NOT a social event. We ask customers to do shorter shopping trips at the market (“Shop, Don’t Stop”), not eat or drink on site, and, where possible, send only one person from the household to the market.