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What's open (and what's not) under the Stay Safe MN order

The governor's new executive order begins May 18, easing some restrictions on businesses and small group gatherings.

ST PAUL, Minn. — Governor Tim Walz announced Wednesday that Minnesota's Stay at Home order will be allowed to expire at 11:59 p.m. on Sunday, May 17, and will be replaced with a new "Stay Safe MN" order.

The new executive order will allow more business openings with safety restrictions, as well as smaller group gatherings. The governor's order encourages all Minnesotans who leave their homes to wear a face covering in public settings where social distancing is difficult to maintain, such as a grocery store.

Here's a closer look at what's allowed -- and what's not -- under the Stay Safe order:


Small groups up to 10 people are allowed under the order, as well as:

  • Drive-in gatherings, as long as all participants stay in their own vehicles and follow safety guidelines
  • Commercial activity, including workers and customers at critical and non-critical businesses


Gatherings of more than 10 people who are not members of the same household are not permitted, including:

  • Social, civic, community, or faith-based gatherings
  • Sporting or leisure events
  • Concerts and performances
  • Conventions
  • Fundraisers
  • Parades
  • Fairs and festivals

RELATED: Walz to let Stay at Home expire, replace with Stay Safe MN order


Non-Critical Businesses can choose to reopen by implementing a COVID-19 preparedness plan. That plan encourages working from home whenever possible, and maintaining social distancing and worker hygiene. 

Customer-facing businesses are also required to maintain 6 feet of social distancing between workers and customers, and store occupancy is limited to 50% of the typical occupancy allowed by the state fire marshal. Businesses allowed to reopen include:

  • Main street retail
  • Malls (Check with individual malls on their reopening decisions. For instance, Rosedale said it will reopen May 18, while Mall of America said it will reopen June 1, giving stores time to rehire staff and develop safety plans)
  • Household services (house cleaning, maid services, etc.)


Gov. Walz said his administration will be meeting with health experts and business leaders about allowing reopening in additional business sectors starting June 1. Until then, the Stay Safe order extends the following closures until at least May 31:

  • Bars
  • Restaurants (Takeout and delivery are allowed)
  • Salons & barbershops (services not allowed, but retail product sales are allowed)

RELATED: Mall of America to reopen on June 1


Minnesota State Parks, Trails and Recreation Areas continue to be open for day use, but campgrounds, lodging and rental facilities remain closed through May 31, according to the DNR

The Stay Safe order does allow:

  • Dispersed remote camping (designated single campsites, not campgrounds)
  • Local, regional, privately managed parks and trails
  • State, regional and local public water access
  • Public and private marinas
  • Public and private golf courses and driving ranges
  • Ski areas
  • Off-highway vehicle and watercraft sales, repair and showrooms
  • Lake services (dock, boat lift installations and repairs)
  • Bait and tackle shops
  • Outdoor shooting ranges
  • Game farms
  • Outdoor recreation rentals
  • Guided instructional activities (such as guided fishing or outdoor fitness training in small one-on-one or one-on-two groups)
  • Outdoor sports and practices that allow for social distancing and do not require group gatherings
  • Youth summer day programming (but not overnight camps)


Businesses and facilities that involve large gatherings or groups in close proximity are not allowed to reopen, including:

  • Mini golf
  • Pools
  • Commercial outdoor racetracks
  • Concert venues

RELATED: Submit your business to let us know 'We're open!'

RELATED: Companies that are hiring in Minnesota amid coronavirus


Individual state agencies are still developing their own reopening plans and timings. 

The Department of Public Safety's Driver and Vehicle Services division announced Friday it would reopen select offices starting May 19 for license renewals and road tests. Appointments for road tests will resume May 26 for those who had their previous appointments canceled during the Stay at Home order. New road test appointments are not currently available.

Drivers with expiring licenses don't need to rush to the DVS offices right away, however. Gov. Walz signed a law that extends license expiration dates during the peacetime emergency by two months after the end of the order. Currently, the peacetime emergency runs until June 12, meaning people with expiring licenses through that time have until August 12 to get their driver's licenses renewed.

RELATED: Driver exam stations to reopen, but with changes to cope with COVID-19

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