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Santa Maria flea market stays open during pandemic

Posted at 6:24 PM, Jul 24, 2020
and last updated 2020-07-27 02:48:12-04

Many flea markets and swap meets on the Central Coast stopped operating at the start of the pandemic but Santa Maria’s flea market remains open.

Flea market organizers say they're enforcing many safety protocols. One is very simple -- no mask, no entry.

Face coverings are now a requirement for all vendors and customers at the Santa Maria Flea Market.

Dianna Canales who helps her parents Flavio and Maria Canales, said that is one of the many things that is now required for entry.

“If you do not wear your mask, it's no entry, so you have to also keep in mind that you have to keep your distancing which is six feet and we obviously recommend more than six feet,” Canales said.

For vendors, that requirement is extended to 20 feet.

Josue Hernandez has been helping his father run his business for many years. He said customer safety is a priority.

"We have hand sanitizers on every station, trailer, and the tables. We have about six in total and we have extras if we need more,” Hernandez said.

Others said they feel fine going to the market because they believe everyone follows safety protocols.

“All people who enter, enter with masks and all sellers have their sanitizer, so that's why I feel good. It's not like going to a store that is closed and inside,” said Alberto Martinez.

According to organizers, they see around 300 visitors a day but that number varies.

They also limit the event to 100 visitors at a time.

“All we can pretty much do is follow protocol and try to be as careful as we can,” Hernandez said.

The Santa Maria Flea Market is open on Fridays and Sundays from 7 a.m. to 4 p.m.