DC mayor issues order for farmers' markets, grocery stores to implement social distancing policies

WASHINGTON, DC - APRIL 01: People wait in a line to get into a Trader Joe's grocery store on April 1, 2020 in Washington, DC. As of April 1, the entire national capital region is under 'stay-at-home' orders, which ban residents from leaving their hom

D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser issued an order that states farmer's markets, grocery stores and other retail food businesses in the District must submit a social distancing plan in order to continue operation. 

Bowser tweeted Wednesday that no farmers' markets in the city can operate unless they are issued a waiver. 

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In order to obtain a waiver, Bowser says a market manager must submit a plan to the District government at dcfoodpolicy@dc.gov and outline how they will operate and enforce social distancing protocols. Then, their plan must be approved before they can operate.

Bowser says the order applies to "retail food sellers" including grocery stores, supermarkets, food halls, food banks, convenience stores and others. 

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The order also includes amendments to previous orders, according to Bowser, which includes removing tennis and golf as allowable recreation activities and clarifies that community gardens are still open to the public.

This comes days after crowds were seen in viral photos not social distancing at the Fish Market at The Wharf. It has since been shut down, but may soon reopen if it meets Bowser's protocals.

Click here for more information on D.C.'s response to COVID-19