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As of July 25, 2020, Gov. Tim Walz issued Emergency Executive Order 20-81, requiring people in Minnesota to wear a mask or face-covering inside all public indoor spaces and indoor businesses. This mandate includes schools and places of worship, but it does not apply to private indoor areas like homes or hotel rooms. Workers are also required to cover their faces when working outdoors in conditions that don’t maintain social distancing.

Enforcement: State officials say the goal of the order is not enforcement, and they expect businesses and individuals to comply voluntarily with the requirement of the mask mandate. However, any business, including owners and management, who does not comply may be subject to criminal charges, including civil fines of up to $25,000 and regulatory enforcement.

Individuals who don’t comply with the mask requirement may receive a petty misdemeanor citation and a fine of up to $100.

Exceptions: Children younger than two years old are not required to wear face coverings—health officials advise against doing so. Individuals with disabilities, health conditions, or behavioral needs that make safely wearing a mask difficult are exempt from the requirement as well.

Face coverings can also be temporarily removed in public places when eating or drinking at a social distance, swimming, and communicating with someone who is deaf or hard of hearing. It is also regarded as acceptable if you are testifying, performing, or speaking in a public indoor space.

For more information about Executive Order 20-81, view resources on the Minnesota Department of Health’s website, or contact MDH by phone at 651-297-1304 or 1-800-657-3504.