By Richard Bell
The 50-mile yard sale is one of those strange events that no one organizes. When it started years ago, someone in Middle Musquodoboit put out a pamphlet that sellers could pay $5 for a listing. But over the years, more and more people on the route just started setting up on their lawns and driveways on the weekend after Labour Day. This year, Labour Day falls on Monday, September 7.
So people who are following the traditional schedule would have their tables out on the weekend of September 12-13. We assume that at least some people will be holding yard sales during this time, although there is no way to know how many people may participate.
The Cooperator contacted Nova Scotia Department of Health and Wellness to see if the province was planning to take any position about whether the 50-Mile Yard Sale should take place. We received the following reply from Heather Fairbairn, the department’s media relations advisor.
“Public health would not have a role in approving this activity. As outlined in the public health order, the limit on gatherings is 50 people with physical distancing. As well, individuals may gather together in social groups of up to 10 persons per group without adhering to the physical distancing requirements of two metres or six feet. Individuals/event organizers are responsible to ensure they comply with the public health measures in place.”
“If you are considering yard sales, all public health measures must be followed such as gathering limits, hand hygiene throughout interactions, and environmental cleaning. It is known that the virus can live on surfaces, so practicing hand hygiene and cleaning and disinfecting of items is important. Likewise, people should not share food, dishes or utensils. Any activities that cannot meet the public health measures are discouraged.”
“The following community event guidelines may be helpful: https://novascotia.ca/coronavirus/docs/Events-theatres-and-venues-COVID-19-prevention-guidelines.pdf”
This “Covid-19 Prevention Guide” comes from the Department of Community, Culture, and Heritage. If you are thinking of running a yard sale this year, there are many provincial regulations that you must follow to be in compliance. In addition to the 50-person limitation on group size, there are pages of other regulations such as:
- Signage with the self-screening questionnaire about symptoms
- 2-meter spacing between all individuals
- 2-meter spacing between booths
- Signage to promote and ensure one-way traffic flow for entering and exiting
- 4-meter spacing between performers and the public
- Provision of alcohol-based hand sanitizers (60%) at the entrances and throughout the space
- Cleaning and disinfecting of areas touched often at least twice a day
- Single service condiments for food
Check out the Cooperator’s Facebook page for any updates on where people are planning to have tables out.