MONTREAL -- Car access to the Jean-Talon Market will be very limited this summer to curtail the spread of COVID-19.

As of Thursday (April 30), car traffic will be prohibited from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. daily on Marché-Du-Nord streets around the market, the borough of Rosemont-La-Petite-Patrie said in a news release Wednesday.

Last summer, those streets were pedestrianized only part of the time.

The two underground parking lots at the Jean-Talon Market will remain accessible and a vehicle loading area has been set up.

The exceptional measure is part of the plan to ensure the Jean-Talon Market is up to the health standards required during the COVID-19 pandemic, the borough said.

On April 20, Montreal’s public health officials declared the city’s public markets an essential service but issued directives, including limiting crowds to maintain a physical distance of two metres between people.

"We know that the Jean-Talon Market customers come there mainly by public transport, on foot or by bicycle, and that they appreciate the pedestrianization in the summer season that has been in place for 14 years," said Rosemont-La Petite-Patrie Mayor François Croteau, adding that he’s inviting residents to continue to support local merchants by visiting the market -- but preferably by walking or cycling.

The crowd-control measure is one of the many adaptations being made as a result of the pandemic, said Nicolas Fabien-Ouellet, deputy CEO of Montreal Public Markets, “in order to make the 2020 season possible at the Jean-Talon Market.”