March 17, 2020

03/17/20: Mandatory Closure of Bars, Restaurants, and Other Places of Public Accommodation in Minnesota Due to COVID-19

On March 16, 2020, Governor Walz signed Emergency Executive Order 20-4, providing for the temporary closure of bars, restaurants, and other places of public accommodation in Minnesota.  Pursuant to the Emergency Executive Order, beginning on March 17, 2020 at 5:00 pm*, the following places of public accommodation are to be closed:

  1. Restaurants, food courts, cafes, coffeehouses, and other places of public accommodation offering food or beverage for on-premises consumption, excluding institutional or in-house food cafeterias that serve residents, employees, and clients of businesses, child care facilities, hospitals, and longterm care facilities.
  2. Bars, taverns, brew pubs, breweries, microbreweries, distilleries, wineries, tasting rooms, clubs, and other places of public accommodation offering alcoholic beverages for on-premises consumption.
  3. Hookah bars, cigar bars, and vaping lounges offering their products for on premises consumption.
  4. Theaters, cinemas, indoor and outdoor performance venues, and museums.
  5. Gymnasiums, fitness centers, recreation centers, indoor sports facilities, indoor exercise facilities, exercise studios, and spas.
  6. Amusement parks, arcades, bingo halls, bowling alleys, indoor climbing facilities, skating rinks, trampoline parks, and other similar recreational or entertainment facilities.
  7. Country clubs, golf clubs, boating or yacht clubs, sports or athletic clubs, and dining clubs.

Places of public accommodation are encouraged to offer food and beverage through delivery services, take-out service, and drive-through services, while taking precautions to mitigate the potential transmission of COVID-19, including social distancing.  In offering food or beverages, a business subject to this Order may permit up to five members of the public at one time inside the business to pick up their food or beverage, provided they are at least six feet apart from one another.

The following are excluded from this Order:

  1. Places of public accommodation that offer food and beverage not for on premises consumption, including grocery stores, markets, convenience stores, pharmacies, drug stores, and food pantries, other than those portions of the place of public accommodation subject to the requirements noted above;
  2. Health care facilities, child care facilities, residential care facilities, congregate care facilities, and juvenile justice facilities;
  3. Crisis shelters, soup kitchens, or similar institutions; and
  4. Restaurants and food courts inside the secured zones of airports.

Violation of this Order is a misdemeanor, with a potential penalty upon conviction of a fine not to exceed $1,000 or imprisonment for not more than 90 days.