Starting on June 2, 2021, Nova Scotia will begin its phased-in Reopening Plan, which you can view by clicking here. The Reopening Plan will involve several phases, each of which will take a minimum of 2 weeks and result in changes for Nova Scotia’s farmers’ market sector. Relevant changes to health and safety restrictions coming into effect on June 2, 2021 are highlighted on pages 2-5 in this document, available here.
Note that Nova Scotia’s circuit breaker restrictions remain in effect until June 2, 2021. Until then, farmers’ markets should continue to follow our May 22 recommendations, which you can view by clicking here.
Key updates for all of Nova Scotia starting on June 2, 2021 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.
- 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.
- All vendors—including those selling non-essential products—can sell at a farmers’ market.
- Rules for eating areas:
- Designated eating areas are allowed at outdoor farmers’ markets, but only if tables are at least 6 feet apart and that no more than 10 people are seated at any given table at a time.
- Designated eating areas are not allowed at indoor farmers’ markets, and indoor farmers’ market vendors may only offer food on a to-go basis.
- Rules for travel:
- The public is free to travel between communities in Nova Scotia and may shop at any farmers’ market, except for those traveling to or from HRM and CBRM.
- Farmers’ market vendors and staff are considered essential workers and may travel to and from the HRM or CBRM to sell or work at a farmers’ market.
Farmers’ markets have and continue to be 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 farmers’ market vendors as essential service workers.
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 and 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.
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.