Governor Tim Walz issued his 20th Executive Order this year on March 25, 2020. This order continues his string of restrictions to address a pending national and state health emergency involving the COVID-19 pandemic. This order places unprecedented restrictions on travel, school, work, recreation, and business upon Minnesota’s citizens. For the most part, the restrictions remain until Friday, April 10, 2020 at 5:00 p.m. Many commentators suggest the restrictions will last, in some form, even longer. The order also continues the earlier mandatory closures of many businesses and almost all schools in the state. In addition to a general order to “stay at home or place of residence” the order exempts certain critical activities and business from the order.
As it directly affects businesses and individuals, the order requires all citizens to stay at home until April 10, 2020 at 5:00 p.m. It does not restrict people from working at home.
The order excludes certain outdoor recreational activities, with proper six foot social spacing, including fishing, hunting, walking, biking etc. but continued closure of certain businesses such as health clubs, movie theatres, bowling alleys, gyms, ice rinks and golf courses, among others. The order continued closure of many hospitality businesses such as restaurants (except take out), bars and other public accommodation.
Further, it allows certain businesses to remain open and citizens to travel to and from grocery stores, gas stations, health care facilities, liquor stores, and for vehicle repair and sale, child care (under certain limits), bicycle sale and repair, and related businesses to maintain safety and sanitation.
It further provides a blanket exemption for certain “critical sectors” and their workers where the worker could not otherwise perform the work from home. This includes such things as health care and public health, law enforcement, food and agriculture, energy and other utilities, transportation and logistics (including road construction and public transit), public works, communication and information technology, and governmental functions again, among many others.
The order is only 11 pages consisting mostly of exemptions. Employers and employees should carefully review the order and the earlier orders to determine their individual requirements. The full order can be found here.
The order incorporates by reference a guidance document from the United States Department of Homeland Security, Cybersecurity & Infrastructure Security Agency (“CISA”) which can be found here.
Note, however, that CISA updates its guidance fairly frequently. It has updated the guidance at least once since Governor Walz’s order.
Also, all Minnesota executive orders can be found here.
Note, that willful violations are punishable as a misdemeanor with a $1,000.00 fine.
If you have any questions, please contact Michael Glover at firstname.lastname@example.org and 612-336-1269 or your individual Lommen Abdo attorney.