COVID-19 Update on the Winter Markets: April 2
We are pleased to announce that starting this Saturday, April 4 we are now able to offer a dedicated shopping window for seniors (65+), shoppers with mobility challenges, and others most vulnerable to Covid-19 at Riley Park Winter Market. The window will run from 10:00 – 10:30 am every Saturday.
Please be assured that our markets are not functioning as social gatherings at this time, but as access points for fresh food and prepared food items. For this reason, we request that, whenever possible, shoppers send only one member of their household to the market. This will help greatly to reduce wait times at the entrances of our markets.
What We Are Doing for Your Safety
Maintaining the safety of our shoppers, vendors, and staff is our utmost priority and as such, the following safety measures are in place at the markets until further notice:
- Social distancing – 6ft. (2 m) of space is to be maintained between market attendees at all times.
- Stall spaces are reconfigured to ensure shoppers have plenty of space to select and purchase products.
- Smaller collections of vendors are operating in cordoned off zones. Check the Riley Park page after 4pm on Friday for up-to-date information on zones and vendors.
- Each zone will have a maximum capacity. Capacity of each market zone is monitored by VFM staff members who count every person entering and exiting their zone.
- Shoppers waiting in line at market entrance points, or at vendors stalls are asked to stand at 6ft. intervals.
- Signage will be in place to direct shoppers to entrance and exit points.
- Markets will be food only.
- No Market Money transactions for making purchases – cash, debit/credit cards only.
- Increased number of hand washing/sanitizing stations will be in place throughout the markets.
- No product sampling of any kind.
- No dogs or other animals are permitted in the market.
Do Your Part to Keep Farmers Markets Safe and Open
We also encourage you to protect yourselves, your fellow shoppers, and VFM staff and vendors by observing the following Vancouver Coastal Health recommendations:
- Stay home if you are feeling sick.
- Observe social distancing – maintain 6ft. (2 m) of space from others at all times.
- Limit market attendance to one person per household in order to reduce wait times for all shoppers.
- Shop, don’t stop. Come prepared with a list of the items you need and limit your time in the market to essential food shopping only.
- Wash hands frequently and thoroughly. Avoid touching your eyes, nose, or mouth.
- Cough or sneeze into a tissue or into the crease of your elbow.
- Avoid handling produce and food items you do not intend to buy. Wash your produce thoroughly.
- Regularly wash your reusable produce and tote bags.
More information on the Covid-19 virus can be found on the VCH website at this link: http://www.vch.ca/about-us/news/vancouver-coastal-health-statement-on-coronavirus
Many of you have asked about an online store and we hope to introduce this early next week. The store will currently give vendors a platform to offer pick up at the market and elsewhere. If you are interested in these options, check back with our website and newsletter for more information as we have it.
Please note: the status of our market operations can change at any time. We will continue to monitor the COVID-19 situation with our municipal partners and provide updates on our website and through social media (FB, Instagram, Twitter).
From all of us at Vancouver Farmers Markets, we hope that you remain safe and healthy and we thank you for your continued support and understanding during this time.