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Minnesota to Require Face Coverings, Joining Its Cities

  • July 23, 2020

After many Minnesota cities passed ordinances mandating face coverings in indoor public spaces, Governor Tim Walz has issued Emergency Executive Order 20-81 to mandate face coverings in certain settings to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

Beginning July 25, 2020, face coverings are required in indoor businesses and indoor public settings statewide. Face coverings are mandatory in the following situations:

  • In indoor businesses or public spaces, including while waiting outdoors to enter the business or space.
  • When riding public transportation, including a ridesharing vehicle or a vehicle that is being used for business purposes.
  • Where a business, venue, or other public space requires a face covering, even if it is not covered under the Order.
  • When workers, working outside, cannot maintain social distancing.
  • Where specific industry guidance requires face coverings.

The requirement does not apply to individuals with a medical condition, children five years old and younger, or where a face covering creates a job hazard for a worker.

The Order requires businesses provide accommodations to customers and workers who state they have a condition that does not allow for them to wear a face covering. Businesses may not require proof or ask for an explanation of a medical condition or disability from customers; but, with respect to workers, businesses should continue to follow the requirements of other applicable laws that govern requests for accommodations from employees. Additionally, face coverings are not mandatory where an individual is alone, including in an office or vehicle. Special rules regarding child care and education also are included.

Under the Order, businesses must update their COVID-19 Preparedness Plan to include the face covering requirements and post at least one sign, visible to all employees, customers, and other visitors, instructing them to wear face coverings and of the establishment’s specific requirements.

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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