New Face Covering Requirements goes into Effect on Saturday, July 25
July 23, 2020
Face Covering Requirements
Today, Governor Walz announced Executive Order 20-81 (PDF): https://www.leg.state.mn.us/archive/execorders/20-81.pdf, requiring Minnesotans to wear a face covering in all public indoor spaces and indoor businesses, unless you are alone. The mandate goes into effect on Saturday, July 25.
A face covering is not a substitute for social distancing, but is especially important in situations when maintaining a 6-foot distance from other individuals who are not members of the same household is not possible. Research has shown that use of face coverings is a simple and effective step to slow the spread of COVID-19, especially when combined with other prevention efforts such as social distancing and hand hygiene.
Types of face coverings can include a paper or disposable mask, a cloth mask, a neck gaiter, a scarf, a bandanna, or a religious face covering. The face covering must cover the nose and mouth completely. The covering should not be overly tight or restrictive and should feel comfortable to wear.
People exempted from the face covering requirement
Children under age 2 years must not wear face coverings. Children between the ages of 2 and 5 years old 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 CDC guidance on How to Wear Cloth Face Coverings (i.e., without frequently touching or removing the face covering).
People 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.
People 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 regulators 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: https://staysafe.mn.gov/industry-guidance/index.jsp.
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.
Learn more about when it is not required to wear a face covering, when it can be temporarily removed, when it is strongly recommended (but not required), and more:
Face Covering Requirements and Recommendations under Executive Order 20-81
Frequently Asked Questions About the Requirement to Wear Face Coverings
Masks and face coverings
The situation is changing rapidly. Visit Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) for the most up-to-date information and follow MDH on Facebook, Twitter, & Instagram to stay informed.
For questions related to the COVID-19 pandemic
651-297-1304 or 1-800-657-3504
Monday-Friday: 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.