Governor Tim Walz signed an executive order requiring people living in and visiting Minnesota to wear face masks in all public indoor spaces and businesses beginning July 25. Here is an overview of the requirements:
When it is required to wear a face mask
- In all public indoor spaces and businesses, including when waiting outside to enter the public indoor space or business.
- When riding on public transportation such as buses or trains, or in a taxi, ride-sharing vehicle, or vehicle that is being used for a business purpose.
- When present in a business, whether indoor or outdoor, that has elected to require face masks. Businesses are allowed to require face masks even in situations where face masks are not otherwise required by the State.
When a face mask is not required
- When at home or in an assigned room or living unit in a place of temporary lodging (e.g., hotel or motel room) or other place whether a person may reside short or long-term (e.g., shelter, dormitory, residential treatment facility, long-term care facility, correctional facility).
- When in a private vehicle being used for private (i.e., non-business) purposes.
- When outdoors or participating in outdoor recreation (e.g., exercising, walking, gardening) for private purposes. However, workers are required to wear face coverings when working outdoors in situations where social distancing cannot be maintained.
- Even in situations where face masks are not required, all persons should carry a face mask to prepare for close interactions with others or to enter an indoor space.
When a face mask can be temporarily removed
- While eating or drinking, if you can maintain 6 feet of physical distance from others who are not a member of the same party.
- When someone asks to verify an identity for lawful purposes, such as when ordering an alcoholic beverage or entering certain events.
- When participating in an activity in which the face mask will get wet. For example, when swimming.
- While communicating with someone who is deaf or hard of hearing, or who has a medical condition, disability, or mental health condition that makes communication with that individual while wearing a mask difficult, provided that social distancing is maintained to the extent possible between persons who are not members of the same household.
- While receiving a service—including a dental examination or procedure, medical examination or procedure, or personal care service—that cannot be performed or would be difficult to perform when the individual receiving the service is wearing a face mask.
- When alone, such as when working in an office or a cubicle with walls higher than face level when social distancing is maintained, in an enclosed indoor area, in a vehicle, or in the cab of heavy equipment or machinery. In such situations, persons should still carry face masks to be prepared to wear when no longer alone.
- When participating in organized sports where the level of exertion makes wearing a face mask difficult.
- When participating in indoor physical exercise—such as in a gym or fitness center—where the level of exertion makes wearing a face mask difficult, as long as social distancing can be maintained at all times.
- When testifying, speaking, singing, or performing in an indoor business or public indoor space, in situations or settings such as theaters, news conferences, courtroom proceedings, or lectures, provided that social distancing is always maintained. Face shields should be considered as an alternative in these situations.
- During practices or performances in an indoor business or indoor public space when a face mask cannot be used while playing a musical instrument, provided that social distancing is always maintained.
When it is strongly recommended (but not required) to wear a face mask
- In any public outdoor space or business when it is not possible to maintain 6 feet of physical distance from others or where close person-to-person interaction is possible or likely, such as when entering or exiting a business, moving around in a space with others present, using the restroom, ordering food, or waiting in line.
- In private social gatherings—for example, when visiting in a private home with friends or relatives that do not reside in the same household—especially when it is not possible to maintain 6 feet of physical distance from others.
- At home, for individuals experiencing symptoms of COVID-19. This will help protect other members of the same household from being infected.
- During participation in organized sporting activities, if wearing a face mask is safe and practical.
- When at home or in a private vehicle when someone who is not a member of the same household is present, particularly when social distancing cannot be maintained.
While Minnesota expects that businesses and individuals will voluntarily comply with the outlined face mask requirements, there are consequences for violation of these requirements. These consequences can include petty misdemeanor citations and fines for people, and criminal, civil, and regulatory sanctions for businesses (and their owners and managers).
Link to All Face Mask Requirements and Recommendation (State of Minnesota): https://www.health.state.mn.us/diseases/coronavirus/facecover.html
Frequently Asked Question About the Requirement to Wear Face Masks (State of Minnesota): https://www.health.state.mn.us/diseases/coronavirus/facecoverfaq.html