Beginning at 11:59 p.m. Friday, July 23, Minnesota's mask mandate goes into effect. There are numerous instances where Minnesotans will be required to wear a mask in public/indoor spaces, in addition to a variety of situations where masks aren't required or can be temporarily removed.
You can find the full executive order from Gov. Tim Walz right here, but below are easy-to-read list views of masking scenarios. A mask, by the way, is defined in the order as "a paper or disposable face mask, a cloth face mask, a scarf, a bandanna, a neck gaiter, or a religious face covering."
In short, masks are required in "indoor business or public indoor space, including when waiting outdoors to enter" such a place. The mandate doesn't apply in your place of residence, but if a worker enters your home, they must wear a mask.
Overall, it's pretty "common sense," according to Minnesota's Department of Employment and Economic Development Commissioner Steve Grove. Here are the scenarios.
When you must wear a mask
- Indoor businesses or public indoor spaces, including when waiting outdoors to enter.
- Public transportation (taxi, bus, train, ride-share).
- When riding in vehicles for business purposes.
- Any business, venue or public space.
Workers who are outdoors when social distancing cannot be maintained.
All students, staff, and other persons present indoors in school buildings and district offices or riding on school transportation vehicles (kids 5 and under are exempt).
Students with developmental, behavioral or medical reasons for not wearing a mask must instead wear a face shield. Any student who finds a mask problematic can replace it with a face shield.
When you needn't wear a mask
- At home
- In a private vehicle
- Children 5 years of age or younger.
- Children under 2 should never wear a mask due to risk of suffocation.
When masks can be temporarily removed
- Participating in organized sports in an indoor business or indoor public space when the level of exertion makes it hard to wear a face covering.
- When exercising at a gym or fitness center and a mask makes it harder to breathe.
- When testifying, speaking, or performing in an indoor business.
- During performances, like playing a musical instrument.
- During activities where the mask will get wet (swimming, showering).
- When eating or drinking at bars and restaurants.
- When asked to remove a mask to confirm identity.
- During procedures that require taking the mask off (dentist, doctor, etc.).
- When working alone when social distancing is maintained and walls around you are above your face.
- Law enforcement when wearing a mask could interfere with the job.
- Student can remove masks during recess or physical education, and when eating/drinking.
When masks aren't mandatory, but are strongly recommended
- Social gatherings with family and friends.
- Riding in a private vehicle with friends or family who don't live together.
- Inside your home if you're infected with COVID-19.
- When participating in organized sports.
- When moving around public spaces at restaurants, bars, waiting in line.