It's sad news for pet parents as popular dog-friendly activity asks dogs to stay home this year.
This month has seen the return of Vancouver Farmers Markets (VFM) in various locations around the city, and next week will see two new market locations open in Downtown and False Creek - but locals can expect a few changes this year. Unsurprisingly, due to COVID-19 restrictions, shopping still looks a little different with physical distancing, limited capacity and no sampling or eating on site. But one difference that many may not have seen coming is that due to pandemic, VFM is asking dog owners to leave their canine friends at home. Its website states that although they love seeing dogs at the markets, unfortunately this year due to the pandemic they are requesting that owners don't bring their pups along while they shop. The statement, found under the site's 'Shopping during COVID-19' section, reads, "We love our furry market friends, but they’re not great at physical distancing and very little is known about the relationship between animals and COVID-19 at this time. To keep everyone safe and distanced, please don’t bring your dog to the market, or ask market staff to watch them while you shop."
The FAQ section also states that dogs and other animals, with the exception of service animals, are not permitted at the markets at this time. Vancouverites have been patiently waiting to shop the delicious supply of local fresh fruits and vegetables, craft beer, wine and spirits, artisan food products and more available at these markets across the city, but dog owners will no doubt be disappointed to hear that their pups won't be welcome this year.
About Vancouver Farmers Markets
Founded in 1995 as a non-profit society, Vancouver Farmers Markets (VFM) has grown to become one of Canada’s leading farmers market organizations with eight weekly markets, 470,000 shoppers per year, and annual vendor sales of $10 million. The VFM locations at West End, Riley Park, Trout Lake, Kitsilano, Mount Pleasant are already open for the summer, with the Downtown location, back after a year-long hiatus, opening on June 2, and False Creek opening on June 3. You can find all the information on times, locations and the full COVID-19 safety plans here. So when you're supporting local and heading to the markets this year, at least for now, you'll have to leave your furry friend behind - just don't forget to pick up a treat to take home to make up for it!