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Planning to attend a farmers' market? if everyone follows the rules, you should be safe

Safety of farmers' markets

How safe are outdoor farmers' markets from the spread of COVID-19?

Very, if everyone follows the rules.

As farmers' markets begin opening up around the Southern Interior, questions have been raised concerning the safety of everyone involved, including vendors and shoppers.

During Thursday's weekly news briefing, Interior Health chief medical officer Dr. Albert de Villiers said there are always concerns, before adding a "but."

"Yes, we're always concerned when people start congregating together," he said.

"But, if people follow the plans, and these places are all supposed to submit a plan, I am confident you will be safe in that sense."

Markets are also required to space vendor booths at least two metres apart. Many are controlling the flow of traffic with one-way movement. Masks are encouraged but not mandatory at outdoor markets. A full list of guidelines for farmers markets from the CDC can be found here.

Dr. de Villiers said it's when people start breaking rules, congregate outside or in the parking lot, when issues crop up.

"No place will be open that hasn't been screened, and hasn't submitted a plan," he said.

**a previous version of the story stated farmers markets were required to limit attendees to 50 people, when in fact, that requirement was lifted for this spring season.



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