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Legal Update Article

Minnesota Tightens Restrictions Under Targeted Approach to Slow Spread of COVID-19

Minnesota Governor Tim Walz has announced new targeted restrictions to combat the record number of COVID-19 cases in Minnesota. The new restrictions were based on information gained from contact tracing and research on how COVID-19 appears to spread.

The “Emergency Executive Order 20-96 Restricting Social Gatherings, Celebrations, and the Hours and Operations of Bars, Restaurants, and Venues to Prevent Further Spread of COVID-19” highlights that the most significant source of COVID-19 spread in Minnesota is due to “social gatherings (including friends and family gatherings at private homes), celebrations, and bars and restaurants.”

Effective November 13, 2020 (unless otherwise indicated below), in addition to those issued under previous executive orders, Executive Order 20-96 imposes the following additional restrictions:

Social Gatherings: Indoor and outdoor social gatherings are limited to 10 individuals, whose members cannot be from more than 3 households.

Celebrations, Receptions, and Gatherings: Venues may continue to host these events subject to the following restrictions:

  • Celebrations, receptions, and gatherings with onsite consumption of food or beverages cannot take place between 10:00 p.m. and 4:00 a.m.
  • Beginning November 27, 2020, at 10:00 p.m., these events are subject to a 50-person capacity.
  • Beginning December 11, 2020, at 10:00 p.m., these events are subject to a 25-person capacity.

Restaurants and Bars:

  • Indoor occupancy cannot exceed 50% of the normal occupant capacity, up to a maximum of 150 people, if social distancing of 6 feet is maintained between individuals seated at different tables.
  • The combined total of indoor and outdoor seating cannot exceed 150 people.
  • All establishments must close on-site consumption between 10:00 p.m. and 4:00 a.m., but may continue to provide delivery service, window service, walk-up service, and drive-up service.

Entertainment and Recreation Venues: Indoor and outdoor entertainment and recreation venues (including theaters, museums, bowling alleys, and amusement parks) cannot provide and must prohibit on-site consumption of food and beverages between 10:00 p.m. and 4 a.m.

For more information on prior restrictions still in effect see our article, Minnesota to Enter Phase III of Reopening Plan.

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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