News Detail

Scott Saloum March 17, 2020

Governor Walz to Order Temporary Closure of Restaurants, Bars, Other Public Amusement

The Minnesota Department of Health today announced that the number of COVID-19 cases in Minnesota has risen to 54, including cases of community transmission with no known travel link. In order to protect the health and safety of Minnesotans as this virus spreads, Governor Walz today will announce the temporary closure of Minnesota restaurants and bars to dine-in customers as well as the closure of other places of public accommodation and amusement. This order is effective tomorrow, March 17th at 5:00pm until March 27 at 5:00pm. He will also announce efforts to support workers affected by these closures.

The important actions the Governor is taking include:

  1. A rule closing restaurants and bars to dine-in customers, and closing other places of public accommodation and amusement, including:
    1. Restaurants, food courts, cafes, coffeehouses, and other places of public accommodation offering food or beverage for on-premises consumption. This excludes institutional and in-house food cafeterias for businesses, hospitals, and long-term care facilities;
    2. Bars, taverns, brew pubs, breweries, microbreweries, distilleries, wineries, tasting rooms, clubs, and other places of public accommodation that offer alcoholic beverages for on-premises consumption;
    3. Hookah bars, cigar bars, and vaping lounges offering their products for on-premises consumption;
    4. Theaters, cinemas, museums, and indoor and outdoor performance venues;
    5. Gymnasiums, fitness centers, recreation centers, indoors sports facilities, indoor exercise facilities, exercise studios, and spas;
    6. Amusement parks, arcades, bingo halls, bowling alleys, indoor climbing facilities, skating rinks, trampoline parks, and other similar recreational or entertainment facilities;
    7. Facilities of country clubs, golf clubs, boating or yacht clubs, sports or athletic clubs, and dining clubs.


  1. Additional executive action to strengthen Minnesota’s Unemployment Insurance Trust Fund and ensure that affected establishments have benefits available for workers who are not able to work as a result of COVID-19. Specifically, this EO will waive the employer surcharge and allow Minnesota’s Department of Employment and Economic Development to pay benefits immediately.

Yesterday, Governor Walz announced the temporary closure of Minnesota K-12 public schools to students in order for school administrators and teachers to make long-term plans for the continuity of education and essential services during the COVID-19 pandemic. This action includes provisions to provide care for the children of health care professionals, first responders, and emergency workers, and requires schools to continue providing meals to students in need. On Friday, the Governor declared a peacetime state of emergency in Minnesota, unveiled legislative proposals, and MDH announced community mitigation strategies to combat the spread of COVID-19.

We will continue to keep you and your organization informed as this situation develops.

Take care and wash your hands.

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