The new rules take effect this weekend.

The North Market announced Friday that customers will be required to wear masks or face coverings, beginning Saturday, May 2. Employees and vendors are required to wear masks beginning Friday. The rule does not apply to children under 2 years old nor does it apply to individuals who are unable to wear face coverings due to a medical condition.

“Any measures we can take to help ensure the safety of the community, our guests, merchants and my team we will take. Clearly there is scientific evidence [that] covering the face helps. That’s all I need. It certainly doesn’t hurt,” said executive director Rick Harrison Wolfe in a response via email, calling the decision an easy one. “My mantra through this crisis to anyone who will listen [is] ‘Common sense + Compassion + Optimism.’ ”

As of Friday, the historic market on Spruce Street had begun operating at 50 percent capacity, in compliance with a state order. The North Market’s new maximum capacity is 200 customers. The market will soon expand its hours, effective Saturday, May 9. The new hours will be: 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Wednesday through Friday, 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Saturday; 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday; closed Monday and Tuesday.

In addition, the market has postponed its annual Apron Gala fundraising event indefinitely. The event was originally scheduled for May 16. North Market is providing frequent updates on Facebook about vendor offerings, hours and more during the COVID-19 crisis. 

Information is critical. Read our latest reporting on the coronavirus response here.