Governor Walz Re-Opens Retail May 18; Stay-At-Home Order Expiring
In an evening address Governor Walz announced a new State initiative that continues to foster social distancing called "Stay Safe Minnesota", replacing the expiring May 18 stay at home order. Stay Safe Minnesota asks people to stay close to home and limit nonessential travel and allows small gatherins of up to 10 people. The Governor stressed the need to continue to wear masks in public, social distance, and telework whenever possible.
In good news for consumers and retailers, retail stores including stores in malls/shopping centers can re-open to guests on May 18. MnRA appreciated the opportunity to work with the Administration and a retail roundtable workgroup to develop reopening guidance for retailers
. That guidance can be found here:
. See below for MnRA's statement on re-opening retail stores.
Re-opening plans for salons, gyms, restaurants and related businesses are forthcoming with an anticipated opening date around June 1.
- A COVID-19 preparedness plan (safety plan) addressing social distancing and safety must be crafted and available.
- Retail stores and malls/shopping centers must not exceed 50 percent of their stated occupancy.
- Drive-in movie theaters are open May 18.
Here is a summary of the Governor's Executive Orders announced this evening:
Minnesota Retailers Association President Bruce Nustad's Statement on Governor Walz's May 18 Re-Opening Of Retail
Retailers across and in each corner of the State welcome Governor Walz’s announcement this evening that customers can return to in-store shopping May 18 under social distancing best practices.
The safety of customers and workers in stores will be at the forefront of each transaction, and we know when stores re-open on or after May 18 they will be prepared and ready to welcome back customers.
The Minnesota Retailers Association has been working closely with a retail roundtable workgroup representing retailers, chambers of commerce, associations, local government and other stakeholders alongside DEED leadership over the past weeks. The resulting re-open plan puts safety standards in place while allowing retailers to adopt customized protocols based on store layout, type of business and customer flow. The industry’s re-open plan and best practices are drawn from federal, state and local guidance as well as learnings from retailers that have been operating during the pandemic.
We are grateful the Governor took this step today as this action is an important step balancing public health and economic health. We look forward to continuing to work with the Governor and his commissioners on the critical next steps for Minnesota’s retailers and consumers.