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Legal Update Article

Cities of Minneapolis and St. Paul Issue Face-Covering Orders

The cities of Minneapolis and St. Paul have issued orders mandating that individuals wear face coverings in public buildings. They also direct employers to require their employees to wear cloth face coverings.

Both city orders come on the heels of Minnesota entering Phase II of Stay Safe Minnesota post-COVID-19. (For more information on the reopening of restaurants and bars, and personal services, see our article, Minnesota to Allow Al Fresco Restaurant Dining, Haircuts Beginning June 1.)

City of Minneapolis

Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey has issued Emergency Regulation No. 2020-12, mandating any individual over the age of two, and medically capable of wearing a face covering, to cover their nose and mouth with a mask or other cloth covering in accordance with Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines when indoor at places of public accommodation beginning May 26, 2020.

Regulation No. 2020-12 defines a space of public accommodation as “a business, or an educational, refreshment, entertainment, or recreation facility, or an institution of any kind, whether licensed or not, whose goods, services, facilities, privileges, advantages, or accommodations are extended, offered, sold, or otherwise made available to the public.”

Examples of public accommodations provided in the Regulation include:

  • Retail stores
  • Rental establishments
  • Government buildings
  • Service establishments
  • Educational institutions
  • Recreational facilities
  • Service centers

Additionally, Regulation No. 2020-12 provides that employers must require their employees to wear a cloth face covering whenever the employee has face-to-face contact with the public.

City of St. Paul

Following in Minneapolis’ footsteps, the City of St. Paul’s Mayor Melvin Carter III has issued Executive Order 2020-09, requiring a face covering at all city-controlled properties when social distancing of at least six feet apart is not maintained. Additionally, businesses licensed by the City of St. Paul must require that all individuals wear face coverings. The Order goes into effect on June 1, 2020.


Reopening orders contain extensive requirements creating compliance issues that can vary significantly depending on the specific state or local jurisdiction. Jackson Lewis attorneys are closely monitoring updates and changes to legal requirements and guidance and are available to help employers weed through the complexities involved with state-specific or multistate-compliant plans.

If you have questions or need assistance, please reach out to the Jackson Lewis attorney with whom you regularly work, or any member of our COVID-19 team.

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