Minnesota Governor Tim Walz has issued an Executive Order to partially close bars, restaurants, coffee shops, food courts bars, breweries, wineries, and other food and beverage venues to on-site consumption effective at 5 pm Tuesday, March 17. Along with these facilities, institutional group dining facilities like those found in hospitals and long-term care facilities will also be closed.

This order (Executive Order 20-04) from Governor Walz also closes entertainment venues like movie theaters, bowling alleys, amusement parks, golf clubs, trampoline parks, museums, fitness centers, community clubs, indoor & outdoor performance venues,Hookah bars, cigar bars, and vaping lounges offering their products for on-premises consumption, and other recreational businesses across the state.

This executive order calls for the closure until at least March 27, 2020.

Businesses are still allowed to remain open for drive-thru, take out, and delivery service. Procedures for drive-thru, take out, and delivery service stress limited contact, with electronic payment encouraged, social distancing of at least 6 feet between employees, limited contact with customers, and other procedures. Among those procedures encouraged are contactless exchange of products with an employee or delivery person putting the item(s) down in a place where a customer can them pick them up without coming into close proximity with each other.

The closures will undoubtedly have severe impacts on businesses and employees. Governor Walz admitted that there will be extreme hardships from this decision, and pointed to an additional executive order he also issued along with the order to close businesses that will offer financial relief. This order, Executive Order 20-05, outlines plans for financial relief for both businesses and employees during this peacetime emergency.

While this closure does not call for malls and shopping centers to be closed, Governor Walz points out future closures may be necessary. In the meantime, he says that shopping should be done practicing social distancing and following other hygiene standards.

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