How to handle shoppers that won’t wear face coverings.

First thing: Read through this legal resource from the Farmers’ Market Legal Toolkit to understand what farmers’ markets are legally required to do to be in accordance with the American with Disabilities Act.

Always keep extra masks on hand to offer to shoppers who do not have one. 

MFFM encourages markets to practice good customer service with all shoppers who refuse or cannot wear masks. Markets should be cautious not to discriminate or make quick judgments, as that can lead to complaints and negative attention. Ideally, markets can provide one of the following reasonable accommodations to shoppers who cannot wear masks for medical reasons, or refuse to wear masks for some other reason. 

1) A market volunteer, or vendor, can “tag-in” to do the shopping within the market for the shopper. The shopper can wait in a different space: outside, a different room, or in their car, for example. 

2) OR, a market pre-order option is available to this type of shopper. The shopper can claim their pre-order in a safe location outside of the market space. 

Share your ideas with us, if you have a different approach. (email [email protected])  

READ THIS: The footnote section (page 2) of the updated guidelines from Maine DACF, addresses how to proceed with customers that are not wearing face coverings. It states:   “

• Executive Order 2 FY 20/21, issued July 8, 2020 

• Executive Order 14 FY 20/21, issued October 6, 2020 

Together, these orders require face-coverings to be worn by the public state-wide in publicly accessible places where physical distancing is not possible. Exceptions include children under age 2, anyone who has trouble breathing or related medical conditions, or who is otherwise unable to remove the mask without assistance. A person who cannot wear a cloth face covering because of a medical condition is not required to produce medical documentation of the condition. Reasonable accommodations may be made to serve such individuals, such as allowing ordering ahead and providing curbside pick-up. Businesses may deny entry or service to a person who is not wearing a covering and is not otherwise exempt from the requirement to do so. (Executive Order 55 FY 19/20, Section I(H)). Customers refusing reasonable accommodations may be denied service.”