Nova Scotia began its phased-in Reopening Plan on June 2, 2021. You can find out more about Nova Scotia’s Reopening Plan by clicking here. Phase 2 of the Reopening Plan is effective starting on Wednesday, June 16, 2021 and will continue for 2 to 4 weeks.

Relevant changes to health and safety restrictions in effect as of June 16 are highlighted on pages 2-5 of our updated farmers’ market sector-specific COVID-19 prevention plan, which you can view by clicking here.

​Key updates for all of Nova Scotia starting on June ​16, 2021​ and in effect until at least June 30, 2021​ include:

  • Rules for population limits:
    • Indoor farmers’ markets can operate at 50% capacity (50% of your building’s occupant load).
    • Outdoor farmers’ markets can operate at 50% capacity if your outdoor space has an occupant load​.​
    • If your outdoor space does not have an occupant load, your outdoor market can operate with a population limit based on allowing 80 square feet per person.
    • 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 eating areas:
    • Designated eating areas are allowed at indoor and outdoor farmers’ markets.
    • Tables must be at least 6 feet apart.
    • No more than 10 people may be seated at any given table at a time.
  • 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 nor required to enforce compliance for face mask use by the public.
    • Customers may remove their mask while eating or drinking in a designated eating area.
  • Rules for sampling:
    • Effective June 17, 2021, farmers’ market’s vendors may begin offering “modified sampling” with the following conditions:
      • Vendors may provide individual, prepackaged samples for consumption in designated eating areas within the public market space or offered to-go.
      • Alcohol samples are not allowed at this time. o Samples may only be made available by the vendor when requested.
      • Signage should be placed at vendor booths for vendors offering samples, as well as throughout your farmers’ market, to indicate where the samples can be consumed.
      • Customers must always wear face masks in indoor markets, and at outdoor markets where 2m/6ft physical distancing cannot be consistently maintained.
      • Customers may only remove their face masks when seated in designated eating areas on site when consuming food or beverage.
      • Customers may not remove their face masks at vendor booths and/or when walking throughout the public market.
  • Rules for live music:


Further information:

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 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.