Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19)
Governor Walz's Executive Order 20-81 on July 25 now mandates face coverings in certain situations when the 6-foot separation cannot be maintained.
Farmers' Markets Workers
In EO 20-81, Section 9d pertains to markets. Face coverings are required for all market workers (vendors, staff, interns, volunteers, etc.) if the 6-foot separation between all people, including shoppers, cannot be maintained.
Farmers' Market Shoppers
In EO 20-81, section 11e pertains to shoppers. When the 6-foot separation cannot be consistently maintained, then face coverings are strongly encouraged for all shoppers.
The Minnesota Department of Health provides a description of the various face coverings that can be worn for protection. Masks are prefered, but face shields are suitable when needed.
1. Food Sampling
You can offer food samples anywhere in the market as long as you continue to follow the “Safe Food Sampling at the Farmers’ Market” law, M.S. 28A.151 and the conditions listed in the Stay Safe MN’s guidelines for “Grocery and Convenience Stores:”
Additionally, there is no limit on the number of customers eating food samples. If your market is choosing the "entire market area" option for onsite consumption, then you must have fewer than 250 customers in the market for that requirement (see below for details).2. Onsite Food Consumption
Farmers’ markets are allowed to offer onsite food consumption in both indoor or outdoor locations, with some conditions. There are two options, below. If a market chooses to allow onsite food consumption, the guidance provided for restaurants and bars should be modified to fit the market’s situation. Of the "Key Requirements" in the guidance, only the requirement for reservations is waived for farmers' markets.
Designated eating area:
Entire market area:
3. COVID-19 Preparedness Plan required by June 29
UPDATE July 2, 2020
The Grand Rapids Farmers' Market COVID-19 Preparedness Plan was reviewed and approved by MNOSHA. Click here for a copy of GRFM's plan that your market can use to start your plan.
All farmers’ markets are required to have a written COVID-19 Preparedness Plan in place and implementing it by June 29. A template for the Plan is provided by the Department of Labor and Industry. This plan must be followed by all workers, vendors (including non-food vendors), and customers at the market. The market does not submit their Plan to anyone; it is just kept on file. If a market would like help developing their Plan or would like someone to review it, MFMA can provide that assistance.
Vendors themselves are also required to have their own Plan, but it is not the responsibility of the market to verify they have one.
*Plan Example: Grand Rapids Farmers' Market COVID-19 Preparedness Plan.
COVID-19 Preparedness Plan template and instructions (updated June 15, 2020) :