- Why are we dialing back on certain activities for four weeks?
- Restaurants and bars
- Public Pools
- Lodging establishments
- Employees must follow MDH return to work guidelines
In accordance with Executive Order 20-99 (EO), activities at your facility may be limited. The limitations are described below and will be in place during four weeks from Friday, Nov. 20, 2020 at 11:59 p.m. through Friday, Dec. 18, 2020 at 11:59 p.m. Please refer to the Stay Safe Minnnesota website for the most up to date information.
Why are we dialing back on certain activities for four weeks?
Throughout the month of November, the data has made clear with each passing day that we need to take decisive and aggressive action to contain the most recent phase of the pandemic. Minnesota recently topped 200,000 total confirmed COVID-19 cases for the first time. It took Minnesota more than 6 months to record 100,000 COVID-19 cases, but only 42 days to add an additional 100,000 new cases. We averaged a state record of almost 6,000 cases per day over the previous week, breaking a single-day records for COVID-19 deaths (58) on Nov. 11 and new cases (8,689) on Nov. 14. The Minnesota Department of Health’s (MDH) most recent weekly COVID-19 report found that the current average rates of new COVID-19 cases, hospitalizations and intensive care unit admissions, and deaths are the highest they have been since the start of the pandemic, far exceeding the numbers we saw in the worst points of our surges in April and May. We need strong action to control our future case numbers.
Business and activities are affected differently. For a full listing of all business and activity requirements and limitations, see the full executive order at Executive Orders from Governor Walz. Many, but not all, businesses will have to pause in-person activities for the next four weeks. Please review the guidance below for industry-specific requirements.
Restaurants and bars
Indoor and outdoor onsite dining closed
Food establishments are required to stop all onsite food and beverage service including both indoor and outdoor. This includes restaurants, food courts, cafes, coffeehouses, bars, taverns, brewer taprooms, microdistiller cocktail rooms, farm wineries, craft wineries, cideries, golf courses and clubs, dining clubs, and other places of Public Accommodation.
Offsite consumption is allowed
These establishments may offer food and beverages for offsite consumption using delivery services, window service, walk-up service, drive-through service, or drive-up service. Precautions must be taken to limit the potential transmission of COVID-19, including physical distancing of 6 feet.
Retail establishments who sell food to be consumed offsite are not included in this pause, so long as there is no onsite food consumption. These include farmers’ markets, grocery stores, pharmacies, drug stores, hardware stores, retail outlets, bakeries, and food pantries. These settings must not offer food and beverage, including samples, for onsite consumption.
Customers picking up to-go orders
Customers may enter a food establishment to retrieve food or beverage orders that will be consumed offsite. Only five members of the public may be in an establishment at one time for the purpose of picking up their food or beverage orders. Queuing areas must be marked to provide for physical distancing of 6 feet between customers (for example, by using floor markings, lane lines, and/or marking of adjacent areas where customers may be waiting for service).
Drive-through and curbside delivery service is strongly encouraged.
Buffets, salad bars, and other customer self-service
Self-service buffets, salad bars, and other customer self-service food areas in restaurants must be closed.
Self-service beverage dispensers in take-out restaurants are allowed.
Customer self-service of salad bars and similar food areas in grocery and convenience stores for offsite consumption is allowed. Queuing areas must be marked to provide for physical distancing of 6 feet (for example, by using floor markings, lane lines, and/or marking of adjacent areas where customers may be waiting for service).
Mobile food units and seasonal temporary food stands (“food trucks”)
Mobile food units and seasonal temporary food stands (“food trucks”) can operate. No onsite consumption is allowed. Staff must follow physical distancing requirements to keep at least 6 feet apart, so trucks may have to operate with a limited number of staff.
Food courts, food halls, and other counter service within mixed-use retail spaces
Food court seating areas must be closed.
Food and beverages may be offered for offsite consumption only.
Employees at shopping malls and similar retail locations may obtain food at food courts to consume within designated employee break rooms.
Public pools must close
Public pools are defined in Minnesota Statutes 2020, Section 1444.1222. These include spa pools, wading pools, and special purpose pools.
“Public pool” means any pool other than a private residential pool, that is:
- open to the public generally, whether for a fee or free of charge;
- open exclusively to members of an organization and their guests;
- open to residents of a multiunit apartment building, apartment complex, residential real estate development, or other multifamily residential area;
- open to patrons of a hotel or lodging or other public accommodation facility; or
- operated by a person in a park, school, licensed child care facility, group home, motel, camp, resort, club, condominium, manufactured home park, or political subdivision
Swimming pools at family day care homes licensed under section 245A.14, subdivision 11, paragraph (a) are not “public pools.”
Some therapy pools may remain open
Pools used exclusively for rehabilitation or medical care under the direction of a physical therapist or other licensed medical professional may remain open.
Food and beverage service at lodging establishments
Dining rooms and bars at hotels, motels, and similar lodging establishments must be closed.
Lodging establishments may provide food service for guests under the following conditions:
- Continental breakfast and other self-service dining operations must close.
- Hotel staff may offer food in take-out containers or covered trays for guests to bring to their rooms.
- Guests may order take-out food and beverages from onsite restaurants to consume in their rooms.
- Room service is allowed. Food should be delivered to rooms in wrapped containers or on covered trays.
- Guests may obtain items from vending areas or retail operations and take them to their rooms.
Swimming pools, spas, and fitness rooms must close
- All public pools and spas must be closed, including those at lodging facilities, recreational campgrounds, manufactured home parks, and youth camps.
- Fitness rooms, saunas, game rooms, and gyms must be closed, including those at lodging facilities, recreational campgrounds, manufactured home parks, and youth camps.
Employees must follow MDH return to work guidelines
If staff had close contact with someone with diagnosed or suspected COVID-19, has COVID-19 symptoms or tested positive for COVID-19, follow MDH’s guidelines for COVID-19: When to Return to Work.
In Minnesota, restaurants and hospitality are not part of critical infrastructure. Restaurant and hospitality employees that are close contacts of COVID-19 cases must self-quarantine for 14 days from the last day they were exposed to the person with COVID-19 even if the exposed person has a negative test.
- FDA: Best Practices for Retail Food Stores, Restaurants, and Food Pick-Up/Delivery Services During the COVID-19 Pandemic
- FDA: Summary of Best Practices for Retail Food Stores, Restaurants, and Food Pick-Up/Delivery Services During the COVID-19 Pandemic (PDF)
- MDA: COVID-19: Customers Best Practices For Reusable Bags and Food Takeout Containers (PDF)
- Stay Safe MN Website
- Frequently Asked Questions: Bars, Restaurants, and Other Places of Public Accommodation
- COVID-19 Guidance for Hotel Managers and Owners (PDF)
- COVID-19: When to Return to Work (PDF)
- COVID-19 Recommendations for Critical Infrastructure Businesses (PDF)