COVID-19

Farmers’ Markets are life-sustaining businesses and are allowed to operate under state orders. Markets must operate with public safety in mind, and ONLY food vendors may participate. Customers and vendors are required to wear masks.

The greatest risk while shopping is coming in contact with someone infected with COVID-19 or contaminated objects, such as money or tabletops, and then touching your face. There is currently no evidence that COVID-19 is spread through food or food packaging.

If you are sick, stay home. Common symptoms of COVID-19 include fever, cough, shortness of breath or chest tightness, runny nose, sore throat, body aches, and acute loss of taste and/or smell.

For Shoppers:

  • Masks are to be worn at all times while at the market. 
  • Limit trips to markets only when it is necessary. Make a list before you go and limit the amount of time you are at the market.
  • Limit the number of people shopping. Leave children at home if possible.
  • Keep 6 feet away from other shoppers and vendors. Don’t touch your face. Use hand
    sanitizer or wash your hands frequently. Avoid touching surfaces.
  • Don’t touch unpackaged food. Point to the produce you want and have an employee package it for you.

For Vendors:

  • Protect staff with cloth masks and when possible with plastic barriers between employees and customers.
  • Allow for physical distancing, providing enough space for employees, customers and other vendors to remain 6 feet apart.
  • Sampling is prohibited. No consumption will be permitted on-site.
  • Food cannot be left exposed to contamination. Produce may be displayed behind sneeze guards or other protective shields. If that is not an option, produce should be pre-packaged. All other food should be pre-packaged.
  • Do not allow customers to touch unpackaged food. Package food in new clean bags or containers only.
  • Limit interaction with customers. Designate one employee to take orders from customers while others bag or package foods. Place bagged or packaged food on tables to be picked up rather than handed to customers.
  • Employees should frequently wash their hands for 20 seconds or use hand sanitizer generously and wait for it dry. Wear gloves when handling produce and other ready to eat foods. Wash hands before putting gloves on and taking gloves off.
  • Customers may use their own shopping bags, but employees should not handle them or other personal items besides money and credit cards.
  • Encourage customers to preorder by phone or online and provide alternative payment methods that limit employee handling of money.
  • Regularly clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces such as tabletops and payment devices (cellphones, handheld credit card readers, cash boxes, etc.), preferably between each customer. The EPA has a list of approved disinfectants on its website at https://www.epa.gov/pesticide-registration/list-n-disinfectants-use- against-sars-cov-2.
  • Food vendors must follow all food safety requirements. Prince George’s County Health Department permits are required for Farmers’ Market vendors except farmers and cottage food producers selling food items. 

Current operations for The Capital Market at Mary & Main, per Prince George’s County and State regulations:

  • Only food vendors may participate, and they may only sell food. Craft or other
    merchandise vendors are not allowed.
  • We will work to Prevent crowds. Place individuals in charge of crowd management and stress physical distancing with signs and 6-foot markings for customer lines. Allow adequate space between vendor stalls.
  • Provide drive-up or alternate methods of pick-up.
  • Food must be purchased and consumed offsite. People cannot eat at the market.
  • Consider providing handwashing stations or hand sanitizer for customers.
  • Restrooms are not available and are closed to the public and only to be used by vendors and employees.