ITHACA, N.Y. –– The Ithaca Farmers market this weekend took steps towards fully reopening, lifting their restrictions on the number of vendors allowed in the market and loosening restrictions on their “one person per household or group” rule.
“The phases of reopening New York state seem to be working well in Tompkins County,” Farmers Market Executive Director Becca Rimmel said. “We are taking things a little slower because we know how busy our market can get, and we want to keep our community safe. We have plans for our own stages to open up back to normal.”
Beginning this weekend all 88 market booths were allowed to be filled during market days, and most did end up having vendors. Previously, vendors were required to be spaced out at every other booth.
The “one person per household or group” rule was also adjusted to now allow two people per group to shop together at the market. According to the Farmers Market Facebook, “if you arrive at the entrance with more than 2 people are not be allowed to enter at the same time.”
However as a reminder, this is not a complete return to normal –– the market is enforcing a strict capacity in order to ensure proper social distancing. Over the weekend, the market hit their capacity multiple times and had to require customers form a line at the entrance.
Market staff said customers were compliant and understanding, and also happy to have shopping partners after the single person rule was lifted.
“The well-being of our community is our top priority,” said Rimmel. “We’ll continue to balance safety for vendors and customers, as well as the need for our vendors to bring in much-needed business.”
This first stage will last two weeks, with more changes including extended hours and hot prepared food to come in the future.