VANCOUVER -- Vancouver's first farmers market of the summer season will open May 2 at Trout Lake, with markets in other neighbourhoods to follow.

Local farmers say the markets are essential to keeping their businesses going, and they're relieved the markets will continue despite COVID-19 restrictions.

The markets have been deemed an essential service, but shoppers will notice changes in the way the events operate: the markets will only feature food sales, there will be no live music, and shoppers will need to follow a "shop, don't stop" protocol that's at odds with the normally leisurely market experience.

Physical distancing measures similar to those in place in grocery stores will also be in place, and the market is asking that only one person from a household shop at one time, and "keep interactions to a minimum."

“There’s no shortage of local food right now, so we need people to come and shop,” said Laura Smit, the director of Vancouver Farmers Markets, in a press release.

Farmers markets across the city will open on the following dates.

Riley Park: Saturdays, May 2 to Oct. 24

Trout Lake: Saturdays, May 2 to Oct. 24

Kitsilano: Sundays, May 3 to Oct. 25

West End: Saturdays, May 23 to Oct. 24

Mount Pleasant: Sundays, May 24 to Oct. 25

Main St. Station: Wednesdays, June 3 to Oct. 7