What You Need to Know About the Safely Reopening Minnesota's Economy Order

05.14.2020

Governor Tim Walz's Emergency Executive Order 20-56, "Safely Reopening Minnesota's Economy and Ensuring Safe Non-Work Activities during the COVID-19 Peacetime Emergency," contemplates a staged reopening of Minnesota with significant restrictions. It replaces Emergency Executive Order 20-48, "Extending and Modifying Stay at Home Order, Continuing Temporary Closure of Bars, Restaurants, and Other Places of Public Accommodation, and Allowing Additional Workers in Certain Non-Critical Sectors to Return to Safe Work," on Sunday, May 17, 2020, at 11:59 p.m., and will remain in effect through Sunday, May 31, 2020, at 11:59 p.m. Below are some high level points contained in Executive Order 20-56.

Notably, non-critical businesses may reopen, with a COVID-19 Preparedness Plan. The COVID-19 Preparedness Plan for “public-facing businesses” must be geared to protect both workers and customers. Public facing requirements include six feet distancing and use of less than 50% of normal occupancy capacity. See Safely Returning to Work (Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development).

There are notable exceptions to reopening. Bars, restaurant, salons, and barbers (among others) will continue to have restrictions. Restaurants and bars will not see a reopening until at least June 1, 2020. There will be forthcoming guidelines for restaurants, bars, and other public accommodations.

Gatherings of ten people or less are permitted, and gatherings of more than ten people are generally prohibited.

This order is not permanent. The meatier restrictions contained in Sections 6-8 of Executive Order 20-56 appear to expire at the end of May 2020. Accordingly, it is reasonable to expect a new order (or an extension) before the end of May 2020.

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