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  • 8 Jun 2020
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  • 12 Jun 2020
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Stay Safe MN, Phase 3: What this means for businesses and Minnesotans

On June 10, Minnesota will move into Phase 3 of our Stay Safe Plan, which will enable more businesses to reopen and Minnesotans to return to more activities we enjoy. So many of our great and beloved Minnesota businesses have made huge sacrifices over the past few months to save lives and help us get here – yet through it all, we’ve see businesses stepping up statewide, finding new and creative ways to support their communities since the pandemic begin.

With every turn of the dial, we know that the risks of possible COVID-19 transmission also increase – which is why it is more important than ever for all of us to do our part to slow the spread:

  • Wear masks whenever possible
  • Practice social distancing and stay 6 feet apart
  • Cover your coughs and sneezes
  • Absolutely stay home if you feel sick

The State of Minnesota has also launched a new website – staysafe.mn.gov – to serve as a one-stop-shop for all of the guidance created by state agencies to help businesses, organizations and individuals stay safe will returning to work and activities we enjoy. Guidance for all of the industries listed below and many more are available on that new hub.

So, what can reopen (or open more) beginning on June 10?

Restaurants and bars can reopen for indoor service as long as they have adopted and implemented a COVID-19 Preparedness Plan and ensure a minimum of 6 feet of distance between tables. They must also:

  • Limit indoor occupant capacity to no more than 50% up to 250 people
  • Do not exceed 250 people in outdoor spaces
  • Limit table service to 4 persons, or 6 if part of one family unit
  • Require reservations
  • Require workers to wear masks at all times and strongly encourage customers to wear masks when not eating or drinking

Gyms, studios and fitness centers can reopen as long as they have adopted and implemented a COVID-19 Preparedness Plan including the following requirements:

  • Limit occupant capacity to no more than 25%; not to exceed 250 persons for indoor and outdoor settings each
  • Strongly encourage that masks be worn by workers and users
  • Establish regular disinfection routine and train staff
  • Ensure ≥6 ft of distancing between equipment; greater distancing should be implemented for treadmills and other aerobic activity that encourages high exertion
  • Group exercise classes should only be offered if distancing requirements can be maintained and with no person-to-person physical contact

Other seated and recreational entertainment venues, such as movie theaters, bowling alleys and museums can reopen as long as they have adopted and implemented a COVID-19 Preparedness Plan including the following requirements:

  • Limit occupant capacity to no more than 25% not to exceed 250 persons
  • Ensure social distancing and a minimum of 6 feet between persons
  • Strongly encourage masks for workers and customers

Personal care services (such as hair salons, barbershops, tattoo parlors and similar establishments) can continue providing services and increase their capacity to 50%, as long as they:

  • Have adopted and implemented a COVID-19 Preparedness Plan
  • Limit number of clients inside the business at any time to ensure 6 feet of distance between persons except when providing services
  • See clients by appointment only; do not allow walk-ins
  • Require workers and clients to wear masks at all times (for services where the client cannot wear a mask, the worker should add a face shield in addition to their mask).

Governor Walz’s Executive Order 20-74 also requires all Critical Sector businesses to develop and implement a COVID-19 Preparedness Plan by June 29, 2020. While these businesses have been required to abide by MDH, CDC and OSHA guidelines all along, it is important for their workers and customers to understand what protocols are being implemented to protect health and safety. All workers deserve a safe place to work – and leveling the playing field by requiring all employers to have a COVID-19 Preparedness Plan on the record just makes sense. The Department of Labor & Industry has provided template COVID-19 Preparedness Plans at http://dli.mn.gov/updates.

Executive Order 20-74 also continues to require workers who are able to work from home to continue doing so.

Finally, we know you might still have questions about what this all means or where we go from here. I encourage you to visit staysafe.mn.gov where you’ll find lots of additional guidance and answers to many commonly asked questions And if you’re still in search of information, we’ve built out a robust submission form that will immediately send your questions to the right agency for answers.

Thank you, Minnesota. Together, we’ve continued to make progress and slow the spread of COVID-19 – and as a result, we’re able to turn the dial and get our economy moving again. Now, let’s all do our part to keep moving forward safely. 

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