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Program: Mask Up MN Order

Agency: Coronavirus 2020 - 2021

Resource Number: 69355552
5/14/21 Update: As of Friday, May 14, 2021, the statewide mask mandate has been lifted. Fully vaccinated people can forgo their masks in most indoor and outdoor settings. Local governments still have the ability to instill their mandates; both Minneapolis and Saint Paul’s will remain in effect for the time being. Private businesses are able to enforce their own guidelines. The following settings still require individuals to wear masks:
  • Correctional facilities and homeless shelters
  • Health care settings such as hospitals, doctors’ offices and long-term care facilities
  • Planes, trains and other forms of public transportation
People who are not vaccinated are still at risk when not wearing a mask. An individual is considered fully vaccinated 2 weeks after the second dose of the Pfizer or Moderna vaccine, or 2 weeks after the single-dose Johnson & Johnson vaccine.

5/6/2021 Emergency Executive Order Safely Sunsetting COVID-19 Public Health Restrictions

May 6, 2021 begins a three-step process that will lead to an end of all COVID-19 capacity restrictions by May 28, and an end to the statewide masking requirement by July 1.
  • Step One: May 7, starts with initial steps to relax some restrictions, primarily in outdoor settings:
    • Remove limits and distancing requirements for outdoor dining, events, and other get-togethers, and end the mask requirement outdoors, except at events with controlled access over 500 people. What that means is that unless individuals are in a very large crowd at a formal event, there is not a need to wear a mask when outside.
    • Increase occupancy and group size for all indoor activities and events.
    • Provide recommendations for fairs, parades, and other outdoor celebrations to highlight best practices to stay safe and make summer in Minnesota great.
  • Step Two: May 28, the Friday before Memorial Day, all capacity limits and restrictions will come to an end, including for indoor events and gatherings. Two requirements will remain:
    • There will be no new safety requirements for businesses, though they must maintain their plans to keep their employees and customers safe – as they have from the beginning of the pandemic – guided only by a minimal universal state guidance document.
    • Face coverings indoors and for the largest outdoor events with controlled access.
  • Step Three: Once 70% of people in Minnesota aged 16+ get their vaccine – but no later than July 1 – the remaining face covering requirement and the requirement for business preparedness plans will end. While critical work on vaccines will continue, no requirements will remain.
7-22-20 Emergency Executive Order Requiring Minnesotans to Wear a Face Covering in Certain Settings to Prevent the Spread of COVID-19

Beginning on Friday, July 24, 2020 at 11:59 pm, Minnesotans are required to wear a face covering in all public indoor spaces and businesses, unless alone. Additionally, workers are required to wear a face covering when working outdoors in situations where social distancing cannot be maintained.

Types of Face Coverings
  • Types of face coverings can include a paper or disposable mask, a cloth mask, a neck gaiter, a scarf, a bandana, or a religious face covering
  • A face covering must cover the nose and mouth completely. The covering should not be overly tight or restrictive, and should feel comfortable to wear.
  • Any mask that incorporates a valve that is designed to facilitate easy exhaling, mesh masks, or masks with openings, holes, visible gaps in the design or material, or vents are not sufficient face coverings because they allow droplets to be released from the mask
  • A face covering is not a substitute for social distancing, but is especially important in situations when maintaining at least a 6-foot distance from other individuals who are not members of the same household is not possible
  • It is not known whether face shields (a clear plastic barrier that covers the face) provide the same source control for droplets as face masks, but they may be an option in situations where wearing a face mask is problematic. For optimal protection, the shield should extend below the chin and to the ears, and there should be no exposed gap between the forehead and the shield's headpiece.
  • Although medical-grade masks (e.g., surgical face masks, N95 respirators) are sufficient face coverings, members of the public who do not work in health care or an occupation that requires medical-grade protective equipment (e.g., certain construction professionals) are discouraged from wearing them as they should be reserved for those workers
Individuals Exempted from the Face Covering Requirement
  • Children under age 2 years must not wear face coverings. Children between the ages of 2 - 5 years are not required to wear face coverings, but are encouraged to wear a face covering when in public, if they can do so reliably in compliance with the CDC guidance on How to Wear Cloth Face Coverings (i.e. without frequently touching or removing the face covering).
  • Individuals who have medical or other health conditions, disabilities or mental health, developmental, or behavioral needs that make it difficult to tolerate wearing a face covering
  • Any person who has trouble breathing, is unconscious, sleeping, incapacitated, or is otherwise unable to remove the face covering without assistance
  • Individuals at their workplace when wearing a face covering would create a safety hazard to the person or others as determined by local, state, or federal regulations or workplace safety guidelines
  • Alternatives to masks such as clear face shields may be considered for those with health conditions or situations where wearing a mask is problematic. Face shields may also be used as an alternative to face coverings when specifically permitted in the applicable Industry Guidance available at Stay Safe Minnesota.
When It Is Required to Wear a Face Covering
  • In all public indoor spaces and businesses, including when waiting outside to enter the public indoor space or business
  • When riding on public transportation such as buses or trains, or in a taxi, ride-sharing vehicle, or vehicle that is being used for a business purpose
  • For workers only: When working outdoors in situations where social distancing (i.e., maintaining physical distance of at least 6 feet from other individuals who are not in the same household) cannot be maintained
  • When present in a business, whether indoor or outdoor, that has elected to require face coverings. Businesses are allowed to require face coverings even in situations where face coverings are not otherwise required by Executive Order 20-81
  • When applicable industry guidance, available at Stay Safe Minnesota, specifically requires face coverings
When a Face Covering Is Not Required
  • When at home or in an assigned room or living unit in a place of temporary lodging (e.g., hotel or motel room) or other place whether a person may reside short- or long-term (e.g., shelter, dormitory, residential treatment facility, long-term care facility, correctional facility).
    • However, workers who enter a person's home or assigned living unit for purposes of their job-for example, home health care aides or staff in a residential treatment, long-term care, or correctional facility-must wear face coverings when doing so. Certain facilities-including hospitals, shelters, long-term care facilities, residential programs licensed under Minnesota Statutes chapter 245D, residential treatment facilities, or correctional facilities-may also require visitors and residents, patients, or inmates to wear face coverings even when in a living unit.
  • When in a private vehicle being used for private (i.e., non-business) purposes
  • When outdoors or participating in outdoor recreation (e.g., exercising, walking, gardening) for private purposes. However, workers are required to wear face coverings when working outdoors in situations where social distancing cannot be maintained.
  • Even in situations where face coverings are not required, all individuals should carry a face covering to prepare for close interactions with others or to enter an indoor space
When a Face Covering Can Be Temporarily Removed
  • While eating or drinking, if an individual can maintain 6 feet of physical distance from others who are not a member of the same party
  • When someone asks to verify an identity for lawful purposes, such as when ordering an alcoholic beverage or entering certain events
  • When participating in an activity in which the face covering will get wet. For example, when swimming.
  • While communicating with someone who is deaf or hard of hearing, or who has a medical condition, disability, or mental health condition that makes communication with that individual while wearing a mask difficult, provided the social distancing is maintained to the extent possible between individuals who are not members of the same household
  • While receiving a service - including a dental examination or procedure, medical examination or procedure, or personal care service - that cannot be performed or would be difficult to perform when the individual receiving the service is wearing a face covering
  • When alone, such as when working in an office or a cubicle with walls higher than face level when social distancing is maintained, in an enclosed indoor area, in a vehicle, or in the cab of heavy equipment or machinery. In such situations, individuals should still carry face coverings to be prepared to wear when no longer alone.
  • When participating in organized sports where the level of exertion makes wearing a face covering difficult
  • When participating in indoor physical exercise-such as in a gym or fitness center-where the level of exertion makes wearing a face covering difficult, as long as social distancing can be maintained at all times
  • When testifying, speaking, singing, or performing in an indoor business or public indoor space, in situations or settings such as theaters, news conferences, courtroom proceedings, or lectures, provided that social distancing is always maintained. Face shields should be considered as an alternative in these situations.
  • During practices or performances in an indoor business or indoor public space when a face covering cannot be used while playing a musical instrument, provided that social distancing is always maintained
When It Is Strongly Recommended (But Not Required) to Wear a Face Covering
  • In any public outdoor space or business when it is not possible to maintain 6 feet of physical distance from others or where close person-to-person interaction is possible or likely, such as when entering or exiting a business, moving around in a space with others present, using the restroom, ordering food, or waiting in line
  • In private social gatherings - for example, when visiting in a private home with friends or relatives that do not reside in the same household - especially when it is not possible to maintain 6 feet of physical distance from others
  • At home, for individuals experiencing symptoms of COVID-19. This will help protect other members of the same household from being infected.
  • During participation in organized sporting activities, if wearing a face covering is safe and practical
  • When at home or in a private vehicle when someone who is not a member of the same household is present, particularly when social distancing cannot be maintained
Businesses' Obligations Under the Executive Order and Industry-Specific Guidance
Additional Guidance for Child Care, K-12 Schools and Higher Education Institutions

  • While Minnesota expects that businesses and individuals will voluntarily comply with the requirements of this guidance and Executive Order 20-81 to keep safe, there are consequences for violation of these requirements. These consequences can include petty misdemeanor citations and fines for people, and criminal, civil, and regulatory sanctions for businesses (and their owners and managers). For more information, see Executive Order 20-81 and the Frequently Asked Questions About the Requirement to Wear Face Coverings.
  • Businesses in need of face masks should contact their local Chamber of Commerce Office for resources
Where to Report Concerns With Compliance or Ask Questions
To report violations by businesses or individuals: Contact local law enforcement or one of the agencies listed below, if applicable:
  • To ask questions or report violations of this Executive Order that relate to worker health and safety: Contact the Department of Labor and Industry by email at osha.compliance@state.mn.us or by phone at (651)284-5050 or (877)470-6742
  • To ask other workplace-related questions about this Executive Order: Contact the Department of Employment and Economic Development using the form on Questions about Returning to Work
  • To report violations by restaurants and food service establishments, pools, or lodging services: Follow the instructions on MDH Online Complaint Form. In some instances, an individual may need to contact a local public health agency to report the complaint. Refer to the "Before reporting a complaint" section on the above webpage or go to the Minnesota State and Local Food, Pools, and Lodging Contacts to determine whether a local public health agency is the right contact for the area.
  • To report discrimination in relation to this Executive Order: Contact the Minnesota Department of Human Rights at (833)454-0148 or submit a report at Report Discrimination Online
  • For general questions about face covering requirements or COVID-19: Contact the Minnesota Department of Health by phone at (651)297-1304 or (800)657-3504, or submit an inquiry using the Have a Question? We're here to help online form
Frequently Asked Questions About the Requirement to Wear Face Coverings
Full Executive Order

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Last Verified On: 5/14/2021

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