Independent Farmers Markets Reopening

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COVID-19 Update

Based on Chicago's key health metrics, the city is currently in Phase 4 (Gradually Resume) – allowing additional businesses and public amenities to open with limited capacities and appropriate safeguards. Although progress has been made in order to move to phase four, all residents should continue to abide by important guidance including: physically distancing and wearing a face covering; limiting non-business, social gatherings to 50 persons for indoor events and 100 for outdoors; staying at home if you are considered vulnerable, feel ill or have come into contact with someone with COVID-19; and getting tested if you have symptoms. Please refer to the Chicago Department of Public Heath’s website,, for the latest local updates on the response to COVID-19.


NEW Process for Farmers Markets in the City of Chicago

The health and safety of our visitors, event attendees and staff members remain our highest priority.

As essential businesses, farmers markets will be allowed to open across the city to increase neighborhood access to fresh and healthy food. However, markets will need to follow specific precautions to encourage social distancing and to protect customers and vendors.

Farmers markets may open pending approval via email by DCASE City Markets Team and following these procedures:



Social Distancing Protocols

Under the guidance of the Chicago Department of Public Health (CDPH) and to ensure Chicago continues to flatten the COVID-19 curve and slow the rate of increase in total cases in the city, all farmers markets are required to follow social distancing protocols geared towards transitioning farmers markets to an In and Out model, allowing customers to shop for food without extraneous congregating.

The City of Chicago may do spot checks of markets to ensure that they are following the rules. Violation of the established protocols will result in a warning. A second violation will result in the market being shut down and resubmission and approval of your COVID-19 plan.

Chicago Farmers Markets Social Distancing Protocols (pdf)

Chicago COVID Contact Tracing




All markets, whether on private or public property, are required to complete the following three steps. Reviews will be facilitated by the DCASE City Markets team, incorporating other City departments and agencies as needed for approvals.

A Farmers Market is only allowed to reopen once its representative has received an e-mail of approval from the DCASE City Markets Team.

1. Apply for a Special Events Permit or Market Registration from the City of Chicago at When logging in to the permit / registration:

  • Go to
  • Create a log in for your organization. We recommend something universal that can be used for multiple years and not tied to a specific user
  • Go to Permits
  • Click on Apply For New Permit
  • If you require a street or curb lane closure or any other CDOT permit, please click on “Festival and Athletic Event Permits”
  • If you are on private or Park District property and do not require any type of CDOT permit, please click on “Farmers Market Registrations"
  • At this time, we are not allowing food to be prepared on site nor stages to be erected

2. Complete the COVID-19 Social Distancing Plan form and email to at least two (2) days in advance of the market's proposed opening date.

3. Share your Market's information in the in this Marketing Survey to be listed on DCASE's website list of citywide farmers markets.


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