Governor Walz Bans Inter-Household Social Gatherings, Closes Businesses

| Nov 20, 2020 | Firm News

On Wednesday evening, Governor Walz announced Executive Order 20-99.  Starting Saturday, November 21, 2020, through December 18, 2020, “individual activities outside of the home” are subject to additional restrictions.  “[S]ocial gatherings are prohibited” unless “specifically permitted” by the Governor.  Two or more people from different households may not “congregate[] together for a common or coordinated social, community, or leisure purpose.”  All such social interaction is prohibited, even if it occurs outside, is spontaneous, or if social distancing can be maintained.  “The virus is everywhere,” and “every interaction” is risky, the Governor warns.

The Governor allows inter-household social gatherings in fifteen situations:  (1) “activity by workers or customers of businesses permitted to remain open”; (2) “persons in Places of Public Accommodation that are permitted to be open to members of the public”; (3) “educational and care services for children and youth”; (4) “care for a family member, friend, or pet in another household” (5) “[r]elocation to ensure safety”; (6) “seeking emergency services,” including donating blood or visiting a dentist; (7) “sobriety or other mental health support groups”; (8) gatherings of persons in, among other places, long-term care facilities, correctional facilities, and shelters; (9) gatherings between “[i]ndividuals without a home”; (10) individuals “mov[ing] to a new home or place of residence”; (11) governmental meetings; (12) judicial proceedings; (13) federal activities; (14) drive-in gatherings, if “all participants remain within their own vehicles”; and (15) churches, funeral homes, and other venues that provide “worship, rituals, prayer meetings, or scripture studies,” but not to “host celebrations.”

The Governor no longer allows restaurants and bars to remain open for on‑premises consumption, except five people may come inside to pick up orders.  Restaurants and bars must obey rules posted to the Stay Safe Minnesota website.  The Order “does not prohibit a worker or supplier of a Place of Public Accommodation from entering, exiting, using, or occupying that Place of Public Accommodation in their professional capacity.”  The Order also closes gyms and fitness centers and indoor entertainment venues.  Haircuts are allowed.  As in the previous orders, violation is a crime.  The State’s enhanced remedies remain applicable, as we discussed here.

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