A "surreal" Hawke's Bay Farmers' Market went ahead on Sunday, with strict measures in place to prevent the spread of coronavirus.

Those entering the market were asked to register and sanitise their hands as they entered.

There were no tastings of any kind, no seating or tables, no buskers, no colouring table and no keep cups.

Numbers were monitored at the market with a 400-person limit and people were asked to queue in their cars to enter, with parking only available through Gate 3 on Kenilworth Rd.

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Hawke's Bay Today Photographer Ian Cooper said it appeared there were fewer stallholders and the market was "noticeably quiet" between 9.30am and 10am.

He said it felt "surreal" walking around the market with all the precautions in place.

"There was nowhere near 500 people," he said.

"Everyone was obeying the rules and doing as they should.

Hand sanitiser was used at the farmers' market held at the A&P showgrounds. Photo / Ian Cooper
Hand sanitiser was used at the farmers' market held at the A&P showgrounds. Photo / Ian Cooper

"It was still the same relaxed atmosphere, but I think people still understood to be reasonably cautious."

Cooper said stallholders were cautious and people appeared to be physically distancing in queues well.

Market spokeswoman Emma Glover said that the event came together well, even with all he restrictions in place.

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"The large majority of customers appreciated what we were doing and were happy to wait."

She said that queuing wasn't much of an issue with numbers able to be held to a limit but that when it came to peak time, people only had to wait short periods before being able to enter, ensuring they followed social distancing rules.

With many of the buskers and attractions kept away from the market, some stallholders also did the same but Glover said they were grateful for the 70 per cent that did turn up.

Bob and Karene Foothead of Clive registering at the Hawke's Bay Farmers Market on Sunday. Photo / Ian Cooper
Bob and Karene Foothead of Clive registering at the Hawke's Bay Farmers Market on Sunday. Photo / Ian Cooper

"They were grateful to be there for their regular customers who support and rely on the market for fresh, local products."

She said they kept to Ministry of Health guidelines and at this stage will monitor the ever-changing situation before making any changes to next week's event.

Glover said organisers strongly believed the market was an "essential service" and therefore at this stage, it will continue to operate on Sunday morning at A&P Showgrounds.

The Napier Urban Farmers' Market will also continue to operate on Saturday morning in Clive Square.

"The market firmly believe that the customers need access to fresh, healthy, locally produced food and ask that the community support our local farmers and artisan food producers, many of whose livelihoods depend on their weekly trading at the market."