Nova Scotia’s circuit breaker restrictions remain in effect until at least the second week of June 2021. New changes to health and safety restrictions related to the circuit breaker were made by the Province late on May 21, 2021 and are highlighted on pages 2-5 of this document, which you can view by clicking here.
Please note that farmers’ markets are still allowed to operate in all regions throughout Nova Scotia. Farmers’ Markets of Nova Scotia (FMNS) continues to hold that public markets are essential food infrastructure providing essential economic services. The Province of Nova Scotia recognizes most farmers’ market vendors as essential service workers.
Key updates for all of Nova Scotia include:
- Rules for population limits:
- Indoor farmers’ markets can operate at a maximum of 25% capacity (25% of your building’s occupant load).
- Outdoor farmers’ markets can operate at a maximum of 25% capacity if your outdoor space has an occupant load, or with a population limit based on 120 square feet per person if your outdoor space does not have an occupant load.
- Note: To calculate how many people you can allow in your outdoor public market space at any given time, calculate the area of the designated space in square feet, then divide that number by 120.
- Example 1: An outdoor farmers’ market operating in a designated outdoor space that is 100 metres (328.08 feet) long by 50 metres (164.04 feet) wide has a total area of roughly 53,800 square feet, which when divided by 120 results in a population limit of 448 people.
- Example 2: An outdoor farmers’ market operating in a designated outdoor space that is 25 metres (82.02 feet) long by 25 metres (82.02 feet) wide has a total area of roughly 6,700 square feet, which when divided by 120 results in a population limit of 56 people.
- Both indoor and outdoor public markets must ensure 2-metre social distancing protocols are maintained and/or physical barriers are used.
- Occupants include staff, volunteers, vendors, and customers.
- Rules for face masks:
- All vendors, staff, volunteers, and customers must wear a face mask while attending an indoor public market or any interior space of a farmers’ market.
- All vendors must wear a face mask while at their booth at an outdoor public market.
- Outdoor public markets are considered public spaces and customers should be encouraged to wear face masks, but farmers’ markets are not responsible for enforcing compliance for face mask use by the public.
Note: If you are a vendor who doesn’t sell essential products, please take advantage of FMNS’ partnership with Square Online Store to create a free online marketplace. You can set up a store for free and begin selling online immediately by clicking here.
All of Nova Scotia remains under a Provincial State of Emergency, and farmers’ markets must continue to adhere to restrictions contained in the most current Nova Scotia Health Protection Act order. Please note that the situation can change at any time. Go to https://novascotia.ca/coronavirus/ to stay updated on the situation.
All farmers’ markets should observe the measures outlined in the directives on pages 2-5 of this document and adopt a regionally appropriate COVID-19 prevention plan for their farmers’ market’s operations. Additional resources are available at the end of this document (page 6).
FMNS is Nova Scotia’s farmers’ market sector association. FMNS regularly provides updates and directives to farmers’ markets so that they may continue to safely operate. We continue to work with various Government of Nova Scotia departments to stay updated on efforts to contain the spread COVID-19.
FMNS continues to hold that farmers’ markets may be able to serve more customers and generate more sales for vendors through adopting a pre-ordering and/or pick-up model, which may include operating an online marketplace. A hybrid approach may offer your farmers’ market more opportunities for vendors and patrons while helping your market adapt to any future restrictions.
FMNS encourages those farmers’ markets that run public markets to ensure that the primary focus of the market is on promoting commercial activity for their vendors, with an emphasis on creating safe, population-controlled spaces with social distancing measures and/or physical barriers.
Farmers’ markets should consider adopting a pre-purchasing and pick-up system, which may include operating an online marketplace. Should you require support to do so, contact FMNS immediately.
FMNS continues to hold that farmers’ markets are the social, cultural, and economic backbone of communities across Nova Scotia. They’re small-business incubators, job creators, and hubs for community building. By adapting and observing restrictions we’ll keep ensuring that our farmers’ markets continue to safely operate and support our communities.
Please note that all farmers’ markets—even if not presently operating—are urged to contact FMNS immediately for sector-specific support and guidance.