After a three month hiatus markets around NSW will be reopening but some restrictions will still be in place during the transition.
NSW Lockdown Market Impact
New South Wales went into lockdown on the last Sunday of June 2021. Essential retail shops such supermarkets, petrol stations and bottle shops were allowed to remain open.
Farmers markets which supplied food goods were also deemed essential and were allowed to operate. However, other markets which sold retail or craft goods were not considered essential and have been shut throughout the state since.
This severely impacted the incomes of the majority of stallholders who were either self-employed or running as casual stallholders to supplement their main income.
While some stallholders tried to transition to online sales or virtual markets the success was mixed. For most stallholders the preference is in person markets where patrons can handle and see goods first hand. This is especially true for stallholders developing and testing new products for sale.
Phased Markets Reopening
The opening of markets will happen over three phases as set out by the NSW Government reopening roadmap. The first two phases are tied to the double COVID-19 vaccination rates of 70% and 80% followed by the third phase set by the date of 1 December 2021.
While the details of the different phases have been specified there is always the possibility that they are subject to change. Unforeseen circumstances such as higher than expected hospitalisation or death rates may see restrictions reimposed resulting in markets scaling back or halting operations altogether.
NSW Markets Reopening Phase 1
Phase 1 of reopening starts on the Monday following when the 70% COVID-19 double vaccination rate has been achieved. At present this start date is on Monday 11 October 2021.
During this phase retail based markets are not expected to open. This phase does allow for outdoor gatherings of up to 500 people but requires ticketing and participants to be seated.
NSW Markets Reopening Phase 2
Phase 2 of reopening starts when the 80% COVID-19 double vaccination rate has been achieved. Based on current estimates this start date is expected to be between 19 to 24 October 2021.
Once this vaccination rate is reached more markets are expected to start operating subject to specific requirements including:
- only double vaccinated stallholders and patrons are allowed to attend though unvaccinated people under 16 are also allowed to attend.
- outdoor density limit of 1 person per 2 square metres (sqm).
- a maximum of 200 people are allowed with a COVID safe plan in place
- NSW QR code check-in and proof of vaccination required on entry
- No requirement for masks to be worn
NSW Markets Reopening Phase 3
Phase 3 of reopening is expected to start on 1 December 2021. This is when the bulk of markets are expected to open.
The only rule that must be adhered to for outdoor markets is the density limit of 2 sqm. Unvaccinated patrons are now allowed to attend. The requirement for stallholders to be double vaccinated will be at the discretion of the market operator.
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