Public push to close farmers markets strengthens
A POPULAR Brisbane farmers market has fallen under public scrutiny after a busy crowd was seen not following strict social distancing rules yesterday.
A petition to close the Jan Powers Farmers Markets in New Farm has emerged overnight after a decision was made during the week for the market to go ahead.
Tara Pokarier created the change.org petition with the hope to regulate farmers markets social distancing until the COVID-19 pandemic is under control.
"Farmers' markets can't stay open if people keep treating them like Spring Break," she wrote.
Describing the Markets as a "street festival," Tara Pokarier said that social distancing rules cannot slip away in outdoor settings.
"The Government needs to suspend farmer's markets where there's a surfeit of indoor stores with good produce, only allowing them to reopen once they have filed sufficient plans showing how they would limit ingress and egress and maintain social distancing."
She proposed the idea that stallholders should submit social distancing safety plans for approval before operation.
Renee Idles, who signed the petition, said attendees should not put lives in jeopardy.
"We all need to practice social distancing and this market is breaching guidelines," she said.
In a Facebook post by the Jan Powers Farmers Markets yesterday, Director Astrid Gates said a number of social distance measures were put in place.
"Hand washing stations were set up at the markets with signage instructions on all the stalls," she said.
"In discussion with the Police this morning it has been recommended that we limit the numbers entering the market at any one time as with the procedures that are going to be adopted by the supermarkets - and we will be reviewing the logistics of these and any other further measures during the week."
"We are ultimately trying to support the 70 - 90 small business - the farmers who rely on us for their livelihood."
Healthcare worker Marina Kanaan weighed in on the discussion on the market's Facebook post.
"I work as a health professional and this is appalling sorry, don't you watch the news or keep informed, our death rate is rising and decisions like this adds to our infection rate," she said.
Originally published as Public push to close farmers markets strengthens