COVID-19 Precautions at Minnesota Farmers' Markets as of May 7, 2021
Guidance summarized from Executive Order 21-11, as amended by Executive Order 21-21 for farmers’ markets that operate indoor or outdoor settings from Friday, May 7, 2021 at 12:00 p.m. (noon) through May 27, 2021.
Minnesota farmers' markets are considered “essential” and thus have our own ‘exclusion’ in the Governor’s executive orders. Markets should update your COVID-19 Preparedness Plans accordingly.
Recommendations to prevent the spread of COVID-19
COVID-19 is primarily spread through respiratory droplets, so the risk of COVID-19 transmission increases when people gather together. Several key strategies can reduce the risk of getting sick or transmitting COVID-19:
Basic Requirements for All Farmers’ Markets
· Customers and visitors must wear a face covering:
· Workers (vendors, market staff, etc.) must wear face coverings in any indoor space; and must wear face coverings outdoors in any situation where social distancing of at least 6 feet from others cannot be maintained.
Face shields are an option for people who cannot wear a mask for medical or disability reasons
Hand hygiene practices
Provide instruction, signage, facilities, and supplies to encourage regular handwashing and sanitizing. See Hand Hygiene (www.health.state.mn.us/people/handhygiene/index.html).
Cleaning and disinfecting
Establish a regular schedule and checklist for cleaning and disinfecting commonly touched surfaces (workstations, keyboards, telephones, handrails, doorknobs, etc.), shared items, shared equipment, and high traffic areas. Continue to perform other routine environmental cleaning according to established schedules and procedures.
FARMERS’ MARKET With No Onsite Food Consumption or Activities
(including no food sampling)
Maintaining Vendor-to-Vendor and Vendor-to-Customer Precautions
Workers in indoor farmers’ markets are still required to be BOTH masked and socially distanced at least 6’ from others. Workers in outdoor farmers’ markets are still required to be EITHER masked or socially distanced at least 6’ from others. These provisions remain in place because of worker protection and safe workplace requirements mandated by OSHA and Minnesota’s Department of Labor and Industry.
An option to achieve distancing is to keep 6’ separation between vendor stalls and only allow shoppers to shop from the front; or wider spacing between stalls if you allow customers to shop from both front and sides. Use extra tables or other barriers to keep customers 6’ away from vendors.
Power of Produce, PoP+, etc.
All retail shopping activities like this are allowed, as long as they do not encourage the shoppers to gather and linger.
Craft Vendors, etc.
As long as your location can physically handle non-food vendors, these vendors can sell at your market.
Hybrid Farmers’ Market and Venue
If your market wants to add back in activities that cause people to gather, then your market will be considered a “Venue,” and will need to follow the Guidance for Entertainment and Meeting Venues in addition to other farmers’ market requirements:
Examples of activities: music, food demonstrations, clowns making balloon shapes, Extension Master Gardeners’ information booth, kid activities where they gather/ linger, etc.
Indoor Venue Requirements
Outdoor Venue Requirements
If a farmers’ market, either indoor or outdoor, wants to allow food consumption on the premises, then the market is required to follow the Restaurant & Bar guidance in addition to other farmers’ market requirements:
Indoor food consumption requirements
Outdoor Food Consumption Requirements
Personal care services
Personal care services include massage, manicures, hair care, etc. These can be allowed at farmers’ markets if the personal care service provider follows the Personal Care and Salon Businesses guidance, in addition to other farmers’ market requirements.
Indoor personal care services
Outdoor personal care services