Law enforcement is urging residents to follow EO 20-04

Published 7:01 am Wednesday, March 18, 2020

Gov. Tim Walz issued Executive Order 20-04 Monday evening that provides for the temporary closure of bars, restaurants, and other places of public accommodation, in an effort to slow the spread of the coronavirus.

Under the order, the following are defined as places of public accommodation and are closed from 5 p.m. March 17 through 5 p.m. March 27:

• Restaurants, food courts, cafes, coffeehouses, and other places of public accommodation offering food or beverage for on-premises consumption, excluding institutional or in-house food cafeterias that serve residents, employees, and clients of businesses, child care facilities, hospitals, and long-term care facilities.

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• Bars, taverns, brew pubs, breweries, microbreweries, distilleries, wineries, tasting rooms, clubs, and other places of public accommodation offering alcoholic beverages for on-premises consumption.

• Hookah bars, cigar bars, and vaping lounges offering their products for on-premises consumption.

• Theaters, cinemas, indoor and outdoor performance venues, and museums.

• Gymnasiums, fitness centers, recreation centers, indoor sports facilities, indoor exercise facilities, exercise studios, and spas.

• Amusement parks, arcades, bingo halls, bowling alleys, indoor climbing facilities, skating rinks, trampoline parks, and other similar recreational or entertainment facilities.

• Country clubs, golf clubs, boating or yacht clubs, sports or athletic clubs, and dining clubs.

Places of public accommodation are still authorized to utilize “delivery service, window service, walk-up service, drive-through service, or drive-up service, and to use precautions in doing so to mitigate the potential transmission of COVID-19, including social distancing. In offering food or beverage, a place of public accommodation subject to this section may permit up to five members of the public at one time in the place of public accommodation for the purpose of picking up their food or beverage orders, so long as those individuals are at least six feet apart from one another while on premises.”

The order further states, “a person who willfully violates paragraphs 1 of this Executive Order is guilty of a misdemeanor and upon conviction must be punished by a fine not to exceed $1,000, or by imprisonment for not more than 90 days.” It also directs law enforcement and public health officials to monitor and enforce the order in accordance with the law.

“If you are an affected business, you need to read (the order) in totality,” said Austin Police Chief David McKichan. “We have an obligation under this order as law enforcement to enforce this order and we will do so.”

The full executive order can be found at