Learn more about COVID-19 in Saskatchewan:

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Public and Farmers Market Guidelines

For general workplace guidelines, please refer to COVID-19 Workplace Information. All businesses operating in Saskatchewan must be in compliance with these guidelines. The information below provides specific guidelines for operators of public markets and farmers markets.

It is essential for operators of public markets and farmers markets to modify their practices and take measures to protect their customers and vendors from contracting COVID-19.

Similar to other businesses where food is purchased, market operators must take measures to ensure physical distancing and restrictions on activities, as well as comply with the public health order and follow the applicable guidelines in this plan. Preventative measures include:

  • Limiting the number of people present in an area to ensure safe physical distancing (minimum space of two metres) can be maintained.
  • Providing facilities for people to wash their hands with soap and water or hand sanitizer approved by Health Canada (DIN or NPN number).
  • Increasing cleaning and disinfection in all areas, particularly those with common touch points.

Market operators must ensure all measures are in place and followed at all times. Please note municipalities are responsible for issuing business licences and may impose further restrictions.

Physical Distancing

  • Limit entry to the market to allow for physical distancing of two metres between individuals and family groups. Cordon off areas to control access.
  • Minimize the number of entrances and exits to control the number of customers. A single entrance and exit may be the best way to manage the number of customers, but this must comply with all other code requirements (e.g. fire code).
  • Manage lineups into the market to meet physical distancing requirements of two metres between individuals. Direct traffic flow through the market using chalk or tape markings on the ground, ropes, barriers or other markers as required. Where possible, implement one-direction traffic flow to promote physical distancing.
  • Vendors must set up with adequate distance between booths to ensure physical distancing can be maintained.
  • Manage physical distancing for food vendors providing take-away service (e.g. when ordering and picking up food). Whenever possible, place take-out food vendors in one area of the market to minimize traffic volume.
  • If seating is provided, it should be arranged in a way that ensures:
    • At least two metres of physical distancing between tables where physical barriers are present and three metres where physical barriers are absent;
    • Only members of the same household group should be seated together; and
    • A maximum of four people can be seated together at the same table.
  • Food and drink consumption outside of designated seating area is prohibited.
  • Create an environment where customers and vendors can practise safe physical distancing of at least two metres. Provide signage at entrances, exits and throughout the market reminding vendors and customers of distancing requirements.

Restricted Activities, Enhanced Hygiene and Additional Measures

Markets may only sell take-away food (fresh, frozen and prepared foods) from food carts and food trucks, as well as pre-packaged liquor. Vendors must be considered essential services or an allowable business. The list of essential services and allowable businesses is available on saskatchewan.ca/COVID19. All vendors and products must meet existing Saskatchewan legislation and regulations.

Vendors are allowed to sell permitted foods as per the provincial guidelines. In addition:

  • Liquor is only allowed in sealed retail containers (e.g. bottles, cans).
  • Only take-away meals can be provided from food carts and food trucks.
  • Edible plants and seedlings are permitted for sale.
  • No self-serve bulk foods are permitted.

Handling of foods:

  • Vendors are encouraged to pre-package prepared foods to minimize direct contact by customers.
  • Prepared foods (e.g. breads, muffins) that are not pre-packaged at the time of sale must be stored away from customers. The product can be packaged at time of sale.
  • Customers must not use or provide their own containers, including reusable cups and containers.
  • Vendors are encouraged to provide clean carry-out bags for purchased food and grocery products. Customers should be encouraged not to use their own reusable bags or boxes.
  • Vendors must dispense all food products.

Additional requirements and restrictions:

  • Vendors must discontinue all food sampling, including by-the-glass sales of wine and other alcohols.
  • Singing and shouting can spread droplets further than regular conversation, so they present an increased risk. Please refer to the music and live performances section in the Restaurants and Licensed Establishment Guidelines.
  • Vendors selling ready-to-eat foods must package them into take-away containers or brown bags. They must also post signs advising customers they are not allowed to eat foods in the markets, as per physical distancing requirements.
  • Markets and vendors must increase the frequency of cleaning and disinfection of high-touch surfaces within the market. Please refer to the Environmental Cleaning and Disinfection Guidelines.
  • Members of the public who are sick or symptomatic must not visit the market.
  • Customers who arrive with cold, influenza or COVID-19-like symptoms (fever, cough or breathing issues) must be asked to return home.
  • Vendors who are sick or symptomatic should not be allowed to vend at the market while they are ill.
  • All vendors, especially those in constant contact with the public, should self-monitor for symptoms and use the self-assessment tool available at saskatchewan.ca/COVID19. If they develop symptoms, they should leave the market immediately.
  • Establish pickup locations for online orders (e.g. drive-thru pickup).
  • Where possible, create cashless payment systems through online orders and point-of-sale devices in vendor booths.
  • If washroom facilities are provided, they must be cleaned and disinfected frequently throughout the duration of the market and be set up to promote physical distancing. They must be fully stocked with soap, water and paper towels. Portable toilets may be stocked with hand sanitizer approved by Health Canada (DIN or NPN number).

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