Yesterday, Governor Walz issued Executive Order 20-56, which announces the stay‑home order will lift starting May 18, 2020. At that time, “individuals may leave their homes for activities,” subject to certain requirements and guidelines.
Many, though not all, of the requirements and guidelines are familiar. Masks and face coverings are “strongly encouraged,” but not required. “All gatherings of more than 10 people are prohibited.” Although more than 10 people may gather in noncritical retail establishments such as shopping malls, they can’t gather for social, civic, or faith-based purposes, “even if social distancing can be maintained.” Drive-in gatherings involving more than 10 people are allowed, “provided that all participants remain within their own vehicles.”
Bars and restaurants remain closed until May 31, 2020. Barbershops and salons may offer product but not services. A “phased plan” for a “limited and safe” reopening of these businesses will begin June 1, 2020, with more to be announced May 20, 2020.
Work from home is still required where possible. “Critical Sector” businesses may operate as provided in Executive Order 20-48. If they haven’t already, other non‑critical businesses (except bars, restaurants, and other places of public accommodation) may reopen, if they have prepared a “COVID-19 Preparedness Plan.”
A template Preparedness Plan, which covers the topics that the government expects, is available. Non-critical businesses must disseminate Plans to employees. Senior management “must sign and certify the Plan, affirming their commitment to implement and follow the Plan.” Non-critical businesses must also provide Plan training to workers. “This training should be easy to understand and available in the appropriate language and literacy level for all workers.” For non-critical, customer-facing businesses, store occupancy “must not exceed 50 percent of the normal occupant capacity as determined by the fire marshal.” “All Plans must also include signage in common areas to discourage gathering.”
Significant changes on outdoor recreation were made. The DNR’s Outdoor Recreation Guidelines remain mandatory. But “one-on-one or one-on-two person guided and instructional activities such as guided fishing, birding, or outdoor fitness training” are now permitted. “Outdoor tournaments, competitions, practices, and sports that allow for social distance” and that do not require gatherings of more than 10 people from different households are also now allowed.
For legal advice specific to the operation of your Minnesota business, please contact us at Dunlap & Seeger, P.A.