Minnesota Farmers' Market Association 

Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19)

Governor Walz's Executive Order 20-81 on July 25 now mandates face coverings in certain situations when the 6-foot separation cannot be maintained. 

Farmers' Markets Workers

In EO 20-81, Section 9d pertains to markets. Face coverings are required for all market workers (vendors, staff, interns, volunteers, etc.) if the 6-foot separation between all people, including shoppers, cannot be maintained. 

Farmers' Market Shoppers

In EO 20-81, section 11e pertains to shoppers. When the 6-foot separation cannot be consistently maintained, then face coverings are strongly encouraged for all shoppers.

Face Coverings

The Minnesota Department of Health provides a description of the various face coverings that can be worn for protection. Masks are prefered, but face shields are suitable when needed.

COVID-19 Precautions at Minnesota Farmers' Markets as of April 1, 2021

Summary of April 5th 2021 MDA and MDLI presentation at MFMA's Monthly Open Forum

(See full recording)  (Download printable PDF summary)

Minnesota farmers' markets are considered “essential” and thus have our own ‘exclusion’ in the Governor’s executive orders. Markets should update your COVID-19 Preparedness Plans accordingly.

BASIC FARMERS’ MARKET If your farmers’ market is operating as a basic farmers’ market, where your customers stop and shop for products, no lingering or gathering, no onsite food consumption (including no food samples) then there is no capacity cap for people at your market; plus:

  • Indoor Farmers’ Market  
    • No capacity limits - So, no need to count people (as long as 6’ social distancing can be maintained) 
    • Shoppers have to wear masks •
    • Workers (vendors, market staff / volunteers / etc.) have to wear masks 
    • 6’ social distancing must be maintained • Handwashing stations and sanitizers required 
    • Market Info Booth (SNAP machine, etc.) is allowed

  • Outdoor Farmers’ Market
    • No capacity limits -So, no need to count people (as long as 6’ social distancing can be maintained) 
    • Shoppers Do Not have to wear masks 
    • Workers (vendors, market staff / volunteers / etc.) only have to wear masks IF 6’ social distancing cannot be maintained from others 
    •  6’ social distancing must be maintained 
    • Handwashing stations and sanitizers required 
    • Market Info Booth (SNAP machine, etc.) is allowed 

Maintaining 6’ Social Distancing Between Stalls- For planning purposes, in order to keep 6’ social distancing between stalls and customers, plan on 22’ for each 10’ stall. If your stalls are 8’, then adjust to 20 feet.

Power of Produce, PoP+, etc.All retail shopping activities like this, are allowed, as long as they do not encourage the shoppers to gather and linger.

Craft Vendors, etc.- As long as your location can physically handle non-food vendors, these vendors can sell at your market again.

FARMERS’ MARKETS as VENUES- If your market wants to add back in “Recreational” or “Entertainment” activities, then your market will be considered a “Venue,” and will need to implement more precautions. Examples of “Recreational” or “Entertainment” activities: music, sampling, onsite food consumption, food demos, clowns making balloon shapes, etc.

  • Venue Face Coverings
    • Indoor venues: face masks are required by all 
    • Outdoor venues: face masks are required by all 
    • For medical reasons only, if a person cannot wear a mask, they have to wear a face shield 

  • Venue Capacity Limits 
    • Use the capacity calculator: https://staysafe.mn.gov/capacity-calculator/ 
    • Must use “rated occupant capacity” o If no rated occupant capacity, use 113 sq. ft. per person o E.g., market area is 400’ x 300’ = 120,000’ / 113 = 1,061 maximum capacity (at one time) 

  • Venue Onsite Food Consumption 
    • Onsite food consumption includes food sampling. 
    • Must have a designated seating area. 
    • Everyone must be seated whenever eating or drinking. 
    • Assigned seating accommodation; market personnel or vendor must escort eaters to their assigned table. 
    • Groups of 6 allowed, must be seated 6’ from others. 
    • Eating area does not need to be monitored by market personnel. 
    • Reservations are not required. 
    • Tables cleaned and sanitized as needed in normal eateries. 

  • Venue Music 
    • Live entertainment is only permitted by performers who are designated by the venue. 
    • Separation of at least 12’ must be maintained between the ‘performers’ and ‘patrons.’ 
    • Designated performance area. 
    • Physical distance of at least 12’. 
    • Performers must remain within the designated performance area. 
    • No interaction between performers and patrons. 

Hybrid Farmers’ Market and VenueIf your farmers’ market space is shared with another activity, like an informational trade show, whether indoors or outdoors, your farmers’ market must follow all “Venue” requirements.

Adding a massage chair, other personal care services 
    • Massage therapist must follow the requirements for “Personal Care Services” 
    • Social distancing of at least 6’ from all other persons. 
    • Face coverings required by both worker and customer. 
    • Face covering and face-shield must be worn by worker if face covering not worn by customer

Cooking Demos

    • Cooking Demos are allowed, as long as the market can set up the viewing area with specific markings to keep the shoppers at least 6’ apart while watching the cooking demo.


Invites to upcoming MFMA webinars and recordings of recent webinars related to COVID-19 and more 

Guidance for Markets

MFMA guidance for Minnesota farmers' markets and vendors during COVID-19

Stay Safe Minnesota

Tip for shoppers on how to stay safe and what to expect at markets this season.

Food Regulations 

Information for Minnesota farmers' markets regarding regulations on pre-ordering and online sales

Forms and Templates

Documents for notifying FNS of delayed or canceled markets, & COVID-19 Preparedness Plan

MFMA provides services, programs and leadership that support and promote farmers' markets across Minnesota.

Minnesota Farmers' Market Association /// 9800 155th Street East, Nerstrand MN 55053 /// info@mfma.org 

Communications Director: Kim Guenther /// kguenther@mfma.org /// (573) 470-4445 

Director of Member Services: Jesse Davis /// jdavis@mfma.org /// (218) 259-9675 

Executive Director: Kathy Zeman /// kzeman@mfma.org /// (507) 664-9446 


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