COVID-19 Resources for Retailers
A strong retail community is important during all seasons, but especially in times of uncertainty such as the conditions surrounding COVID-19. Below are resources for retailers.
(Updated July 22 ,4:23 p.m.)
Looking for the guide to re-open your retail store or customer facing business? Click here! Now added: 30 minute webinar.
November 18: Restaurants/Bars/Food Courts To Stop In-Person Service Beginning 11:59 P.M. Friday; Youth & Adult Sports Take a Pause; New Event, Entertainment & Social Gathering Restrictions
- Social gatherings will be limited to your own household (both indoor and outdoor) beginning Friday at 11:59 p.m.
- Gyms, fitness centers and similar establishments will be closed for four weeks beginning Friday at 11:59 p.m.
- Entertainment venues and indoor/outdoor seated venues will be closed for four weeks, including bowling alleys, movie theaters, indoor ice rinks, live performance venues, public pools, and swim parks beginning Friday at 11:59 p.m.
- Organized youth and adult sports will be pausing for four weeks. College and professional sports may continue without spectators beginning Friday at 11:59 p.m.
- Indoor recreation facilities will be closed for four weeks beginning Friday at 11:59 p.m.
- Events such as celebrations, receptions and private parties will be paused for four weeks beginning Friday at 11:59 p.m. Religious ceremonies and services may continue.
- General retail open at 100% with COVID precautions including social distancing.
- Churches and worship centers remain open at 50% capacity.
- Salons and other personal care services remain open at 50% capacity.
- Outdoor recreation such as skating and skiing remain open.
- Schools continue to operate under the Safe Learning Plan at the discretion of local school districts.
- Child care providers can remain open.
- Colleges and universities continue to operate under guidance from the State.
November 10: Retail Capacity Clarified At 100% Capacity With COVID Safety Precautions; Restaurants & Bars To Stop In-Person Service At 10 P.M.; New Wedding & Event Restrictions
Today the Walz administration clarified in guidance documents that retailers subject to the 50 percent capacity limitation may now operate at 100 percent capacity under COVID safety precautions. This move recognizes the short time customers are in retail stores and how the industry has created safe shopping environments for customers and employees. This announcement is welcomed by the vast majority of retailers who recently told MnRA that absent a capacity increase, their viability was in question as the holidays approach.
MnRA extends a special thank you to Representatives Heather Edelson, Jeff Brand, Dave Lislegard, Kristin Robbins, and Dave Baker for their work with the administration on clarifying retail capacity. Also, thank you to the Minnesota Ready Coalition for its advocacy on changing retail capacity.
While retailers may be open at 100 percent, MnRA encourages all retailers to ensure occupancy levels allow for proper social distancing and continue to follow the State's retail industry guidance.
The guidance has been updated on the DEED website: https://mn.gov/covid19/for-minnesotans/stay-safe-mn/stay-safe-plan.jsp and https://mn.gov/deed/newscenter/covid/safework/business/
MnRA thanks the administration for making this change in advance of the important holiday shopping season.
In-Person Restaurant & Bar Service To Stop At 10:00 P.M. Beginning Friday, November 13
At a press conference today, Governor Walz announced several changes he said are designed to address rising COVID case numbers. In addition to more testing sites, the Governor is ordering restaurants across the to stop in-person service at 10:00 p.m. The Governor said that cases linked to restaurants and bars after 10:00 p.m. are large in number. In addition there are new limits on games such as pool and darts (no bar games that require standing are permitted), and bar/counter service is closed.
In addition, weddings and related events are dialed back to 50 people on November 27 and 25 people after December 11. Also private gatherings are limited to 10 people from no more than three households. Overall events currently at 250 capacity will be dialed back to 150.
Proposed Small Business Support
The Governor also proposed $10 million in additional funding for business relief, targeted toward restaurants and bars impacted by today’s changes. According to the Governor this will help 1,000 more businesses pay bills and pay workers.
Today Governor Walz announced Executive Order 20-81. This order requires face coverings in indoor spaces and public buildings including retail stores, and in similar outdoor settings where social distancing is not possible. This mandate will go into effect on July 25.
Signage will be required at retail stores. Retailers will be required to make a reasonable effort to educate non-compliant customers. Retailers will be required to deal with a non-compliant customers in a manner similar to how they would deal with any other non-compliant customers relative to store policy.
Any retailer or other impacted party that blatantly disregards the order will be subject to penalties including up to a $1,000 fine or by imprisonment for not more than 90 days.
Business obligations, what a face covering is, and exemptions can be found here: https://www.health.state.mn.us/diseases/coronavirus/facecover.html
Impacted businesses are required to update their COVID-19 preparedness plan accordingly. Preparedness Plan Requirement Guidance for retail stores can be found here: https://mn.gov/deed/assets/reopening-minnesotas-consumer-facing-businesses_tcm1045-431883.pdf
Local orders that exceed the state order are not preempted, but an analysis by MnRA shows a majority of local masking requirements are superseded by the state order.
In summary, retailers are required to:
- Ensure workers and customers are masked.
- Update COVID-19 preparedness plans to reflect the masking requirement.
- Treat non-compliant customers as you would any other customer violating a store policy.
- Post signage indicating masking is required.
See MnRA's statement on the masking order here: https://www.mnretail.org/news/item/mn