May 21, 2020
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Guidelines to Open Minnesota Restaurants, Bars, Personal Care Services and Outdoor Recreation Businesses; What Business Operators Need to Know

Governor Walz has announced that he will authorize certain businesses to reopen on June 1, 2020 with certain conditions and requirements to keep customers and employees safe. The announcement reflects the first phase in a larger multi-phase approach to begin reopening businesses that have been shuttered due to the COVID-19 crisis.

Bars and Restaurants

Starting on Monday, June 1, restaurants and bars with the ability to serve customers with outdoor tables and seating may reopen only after developing and implementing a comprehensive COVID-19 Preparedness Plan (Plan). Under the new guidance, indoor service for customers is still prohibited at this time.

The new guidance requires that businesses providing food and beverages for outside on-site consumption develop and implement a Plan. The Plan must include numerous mandatory protocols and address components related to: employee heath screenings and sickness reporting, six-foot social distancing procedures for all employees and customers throughout the facility, employee hygiene and source control, workplace building and ventilation practices, mandatory employee education of the Plan, and workplace cleaning and disinfection procedures.

Pursuant to the guidance, all businesses allowed to open on June 1, 2020, must ensure their Plan is evaluated, monitored, executed, and updated under the supervision of a designated Plan Administrator. Employers must ensure the Plan is posted at all of the business’ workplaces in readily accessible locations that will allow for the Plan to be readily reviewed by all workers, as required.[1]

In addition to the comprehensive Plan for reopening businesses in this category, other key requirements include:

  • Outdoor dining or curbside pickup delivery only.
  • Masks or face shields must be worn by employees and strongly recommend for all customers.
  • At least six feet of distance between all individuals at all times with a maximum on-premises customer capacity not to exceed 50 people.
  • No more than 4 people at one table, or 6 people if together from the same family.
  • Reservations required; no walk-in customers are allowed.

Personal Care Services (Spas, Salons, Barbershop, Tattoo Parlors)

In addition to the comprehensive Plan for reopening businesses in this category, other key requirements include:

  • All employees and customers must wear a mask or face shield.
  • Maximum occupant capacity no more than 25 percent based on building fire code or occupancy permit.
  • Services are prohibited if they cannot be performed while wearing a mask.
  • At least six feet of distance between individuals inside the business except when providing service.
  • Service by appointments only; walk-in customers are not allowed.

Campgrounds

In addition to the comprehensive Plan for reopening businesses in this category, other key requirements include:

  • Individual campsites must maintain social distancing guidelines.
  • Common space may not be used for gatherings of more than 10 people.
  • Enhanced cleaning and usage protocols required in relation to bathroom and shower facilities.
  • Total campground capacity should not exceed the ratio of available bathroom/shower-to-campsite ratio when applied to social distancing measures.

Charter Boat Services (Tour and Fishing)

In addition to the comprehensive Plan for reopening businesses in this category, other key requirements include:

  • Social distancing required on boats and in boat cabins, cuddies, or other enclosed spaces.
  • Social distancing required on all docks and cleaning stations.
  • Capacity should not exceed the maximum number of people on a boat (crew and passengers) to safely maintain six feet social distancing.
  • Fishing equipment must be sanitized between uses by staff.
  • Life jackets must be sanitized after each use.
  • Charter and launch operators must develop and implement cleaning protocols that specifically address Minnesota Department of Health Interim guidance for Hotel Managers and Owners.

Lathrop GPM has been actively assisting clients in developing and reviewing COVID-19 Preparedness Plans. For more information on COVID-19 Preparedness Plans, please contact Brian Carr or your regular Lathrop GPM contact.

[1] https://mn.gov/deed/assets/personal-care-industry-guidance-ACC_tcm1045-432896.pdf