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If you are an owner of a Farmers’ or Fish Market in the District of Columbia, this blog is for you. Mayor Bowser’s April 8th executive order may have shut down your business, but the good news is that through a special waiver, your market can be reopened! Executive Order 2020-058 explains exactly what an application needs in order for a waiver to be granted by the city government.

To obtain a waiver, a market owner/manager must submit a plan to the District of Columbia government outlining exactly how the market plans to operate while effectively enforcing social distancing protocols. A successful waiver application will include four important aspects: 

  • First, markets will need to explain how they plan on limiting the number of people in their market at one time. Unfortunately, customers will not be allowed to bring any pets into the market.
  • Second, markets will need to limit their operation to “grab and go” type purchasing. This means items must be pre-bagged at fix prices. Additionally, markets will need to limit the amount of open check-out counters.
  • Third, markets will need to create a pre-market telephone or online ordering system so customers only need to be in the market for a short period of time. Pre-orders should be available to be grabbed when a customer arrives.
  • Finally, markets will need to adjust their business model to comply with a few other regulations: 
    • Only food items and cleaning supplies can be sold; no crafts or other types of non-food items can be sold. 
    • All products must be behind a rope or other barrier to prohibit customers from touching items before they buy them.
    • Item meus must be clearly viewable to customers.
    • All on-site food preparation needs to be eliminated

A waiver application that provides explicit steps for how these guidelines will be followed will be successful. If you need help creating your market’s application or understanding what the guidelines entail, make sure to give an attorney at Scrofano Law a call. As Mayor Bowser implements more and more Social Distancing laws, our firm will be here to help the people of the District of Columbia safe, healthy, and out of trouble!