Minneapolis to require face masks in all public indoor places

Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey signed an emergency regulation Thursday requiring all people in Minneapolis to wear cloth face masks or coverings while indoors starting Tuesday.

The Mayor made the announcement Thursday along with Minneapolis Health Commissioner Gretchen Musicant and Community Planning and Economic Development Director David Frank and Interim City Attorney Erik Nilsson. The Mayor said he believes this regulation is the first of its kind in the state of Minnesota. 

The face coverings will be required in retail stores, hotels, government buildings, the skyway system, schools, hotels, universities, recreational facilities and service centers. Everyone over the age of two and anyone who can medically wear one must wear a mask in these places. Businesses have the right to refuse entry to anyone who is not complying. 

In the lead up to the Tuesday implementation of the new policy, the Mayor's office has started the #MaskUpMPLS campaign to raise awareness. On a press call Thursday, Frey said implementing a policy like this has been on his mind for about a month. Frey said his administration followed data from health experts to make the decision. 

"Wearing a cloth mask will help keep our neighbors safe. Wearing a cloth mask will help keep our families safe," Frey said. 

In order to help compliance, the Mayor's office is putting together a mask drive on Memorial Day. Businesses are not required to supply masks to customers or employees, but they must mandate use of masks by their staff. For organizations that are in need of masks, the city of Minneapolis is asking them to email COVID19@minneapolismn.gov

According to the Mayor’s office, medical research indicates COVID-19 transmits through respiratory droplets, particularly while indoors. Wearing a mask can help reduce the risk of spread and people without symptoms can still transmit the virus.