ST. PAUL, Minn. (FOX 9) - Gov. Tim Walz announced Thursday he will extend Minnesota’s stay-at-home order until May 18 while allowing some businesses to reopen starting May 4.
Walz announced the extension of the current order at a news conference Thursday afternoon. Walz added that retail businesses and other non-critical businesses will be allowed to resume operations with curbside pick-up starting May 4.
Walz said allowing those businesses to reopen will put an estimated 30,000 Minnesotans back to work.
In the revised order, Walz said those businesses can offer curbside pickup so long as they do the following:
- Develop and publicly post a plan for how to open safely.
- Use online payment whenever possible.
- Employees and customers should wear masks and protective equipment.
- In curbside pick-up scenarios, social distancing guidelines apply. If possible, customers should not leave their vehicle.
- In delivery scenarios, items should be deposited outside a customer’s residence.
The order says traditional, customer-facing retailers can reopen. This includes, but is not limited to household goods rentals, maintenance services, repair services, pet grooming, salons and barbershops can open for curbside or delivery. However, salons and barbershops cannot provide any in-store services.
Economic Development Commissioner Steve Grove said, "Under no circumstances can a customer enter a business. In every place possible, we ask that they remain in their cars."
Bar and restaurant dining, large gatherings, youth sports or camps, and in-person worship are still not allowed. Walz said worship and small family gatherings could be next to reopen.
Routine dental services are still not allowed, though Walz administration officials said there are "active conversations" with the industry.
The governor said he's "trying to find a way" to answer people's questions about large summer weddings or June graduations, and acknowledged that people are frustrated by his vague answers.
"If it were today, I'd say no," Walz said. But by the end of May or June, "potentially."
The Governor added that businesses should continue to work remotely if possible and employees who are back at work should wear face masks in public, screen for symptoms and regularly check their temperature while also maintaining physical distance from each other.
WHAT YOU CAN STILL DO
Gov. Walz is urging people to stay at home, however, Minnesotans will still be able to do the following activities:
- Health and safety activities, such as obtaining emergency services or medical supplies
- Outdoor activities, such as walking pets, hiking, running, biking, hunting, or fishing
- Necessary Supplies and Services, such as getting groceries, gasoline, or carry-out
- Essential and interstate travel, such as returning to home from outside this state
- Care of others, such as caring for a family member, friend, or pet in another household
- Displacement, such as moving between emergency or homeless shelters if you are without a home
- Relocation to ensure safety, such as relocating to a different location if your home has been unsafe due to domestic violence, sanitation, or essential operations reasons
- Tribal Activities & Lands, such as activities by members within the boundaries of their tribal reservations
When leaving the house, people are still urged to follow social distancing guidelines.
WHAT IS STILL OPEN?
Here is a list of places that will continue to remain fully open under the order:
- Food: Grocery stores, farmers markets, food banks, convenience stores, bakeries, take-out and delivery restaurants
- Food shelves
- Convenience stores
- Liquor stores
- Child care facilities
- News organizations
- Gas stations
- Funeral homes
- Hardware stores
- Post offices
Schools will remain closed, and the distance learning period for students will last until at least May 4. Dine-in bars and restaurants will remain closed until May 4 too.
WHO IS EXEMPT FROM THE ORDER?
Some workers who provide important services are also exempt from the executive order. The initial order made the following workers exempt:
- Healthcare and public health
- Law enforcement, public safety, and first responders
- Child care
- Emergency shelters
- Homeless shelters
- Food and agriculture
- News media
- Water and wastewater
- Critical manufacturing
An updated list of exemptions went into effect April 9, including workers supporting minimum basic operations in all businesses.
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