Following the Minnesota Department of Public Health’s announcement March 16 that the number of COVID-19 cases in Minnesota climbed past 50 with multiple cases of community transmission, Governor Tim Walz signed Executive Order 20-04 to order the temporary closure of Minnesota restaurants and bars to dine-in customers.

Walz also ordered the temporary closure of other places of public accommodation and amusement, including theaters, museums, fitness centers, and community clubs.

In an effort to support the many Minnesotans affected by these closures, the Governor signed Executive Order 20-05 to strengthen Minnesota’s Unemployment Insurance Trust Fund and ensure that workers who are not able to work as a result of COVID-19 have benefits available.

Specifically, this executive order will waive the employer surcharge and allow the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development to pay unemployment benefits immediately, providing fast relief to employees who need it.

“As the cases of COVID-19 in Minnesota continue to climb, we must take decisive action to curb the spread of this pandemic and protect the health and safety of Minnesotans,” said Governor Walz. “This is a challenging time for business owners, employees, children and families alike. We must come together as One Minnesota to care for our neighbors and slow the spread of COVID-19.”

Affected businesses must close by 5 p.m. March 17. Delivery and curbside take-out services are still permitted with community mitigation strategies in place.