Wearing a Mask

Mask up, Minnesota

Beginning on Saturday, July 25, people in Minnesota will be required to wear face coverings. Please read below for details on when masks are and are not required.

Minnesotans are required to wear a mask when...

  • In public indoor spaces and businesses
  • Waiting to enter a building from outside
  • On public transportation and in taxis and ride-sharing vehicles
  • In vehicles used for business purposes
  • Working outdoors in situations where social distancing can't be maintained
  • At businesses that require face coverings, whether indoors or outdoors 

Minnesota are NOT required but STRONGLY encouraged to wear a mask when…

  • In any public outdoor space or business when it is not possible to maintain 6 feet of physical distance from others 
  • Close person-to-person interaction is possible or likely, such as when entering or exiting a business, moving around in a space with others present, using the restroom, ordering food, or waiting in line
  • In private social gatherings—for example, when visiting in a private home with friends or relatives that do not reside in the same household—especially when it is not possible to maintain 6 feet of physical distance from others
  • At home, for individuals experiencing symptoms of COVID-19. This will help protect other members of the same household from being infected
  • Participating in organized sporting activities, if wearing a face covering is safe and practical
  • At home or in a private vehicle when someone who is not a member of the same household is present, particularly when social distancing cannot be maintained


Minnesotans are NOT required to wear a mask when…

  • Eating or drinking, as long as a distance of at least 6 feet is maintained from others who are not in the same party
  • Residing at home, in hotel rooms, or assigned living spaces in other residences such as shelters, dormitories, jails and prisons or long-term care facilities
  • Riding or driving in private vehicles being used for non-business purposes
  • Outdoors or engaging in outdoor recreation for private purposes
  • Swimming
  • Communicating with someone who is deaf or hard of hearing or has other another medical condition that makes masked communication difficult
  • Receiving medical or dental services
  • When alone or in an office with cubicle walls higher than face level when social distancing is maintained
  • Playing sports or exercising where the level of exertion makes wearing a mask difficult
  • Participating in indoor physical exercise—such as in a gym or fitness center—where the level of exertion makes wearing a face covering difficult, as long as social distancing can be maintained at all times
  • Testifying, speaking, singing, or performing in an indoor business or public indoor space, in situations or settings such as theaters, news conferences, courtroom proceedings, or lectures, provided that social distancing is always maintained. Face shields should be considered as an alternative in these situations.
  • During practices or performances in an indoor business or indoor public space when a face covering cannot be used while playing a musical instrument, provided that social distancing is always maintained

What are acceptable types of face coverings?

Paper or disposable masks, cloth masks, neck gaiters, scarves, bandannas or religious face coverings are considered acceptable forms of face coverings, as long as they cover the nose and mouth completely. Any mask made of mesh or with a valve designed to make exhaling easier, masks with openings, holes, visible gaps or vents are not sufficient. Clear shields that cover the face may be worn in situations where face masks pose a problem. More information on what makes a sufficient mask can be found here.

Additionally, see the graphic below for information on how to properly wear a mask:

How to wear a face mask

Who is exempt from the mask mandate?

Children 2 or under are not mandated to wear face coverings. Children between 2 and 5 years old are not required to wear masks, but are encouraged to when in public. People with medical conditions, disabilities or mental health, developmental or behavioral needs that make it difficult to tolerate wearing a mask are exempt from the order. When wearing a mask would create a safety hazard at a workplace, employees are not required to wear masks.

What is the penalty for not wearing a mask?

There are consequences for violation of these requirements. These consequences can include petty misdemeanor citations and fines for people, and criminal, civil, and regulatory sanctions for businesses (and their owners and managers). For more information, see Executive Order 20-81 available at Executive Order 20-81 which is available at Executive Orders from Governor Walz, and the Frequently Asked Questions About the Requirement to Wear Face Coverings.

Does the mask mandate apply to childcare? How does this impact K-12 education?

Where can I get more information or report a violation?

To report violations by businesses or individuals: Contact local law enforcement or one of the agencies listed below, if applicable.

  • To ask questions or report violations of this Executive Order that relate to worker health and safety: Contact the Department of Labor and Industry by email at osha.compliance@state.mn.us or by phone at 651-284-5050 or 1-877-470-6742.
  • To ask other workplace-related questions about this Executive Order: Contact the Department of Employment and Economic Development using the form on Questions about Returning to Work.
  • To report violations by restaurants and food service establishments, pools, or lodging services: Follow the instructions on MDH Online Complaint Form. In some instances, you may need to contact a local public health agency to report your complaint. Refer to the “Before reporting a complaint” section on the above webpage or to the Minnesota State and Local Food, Pools, and Lodging Contacts (PDF) to determine whether a local public health agency is the right contact for your area.
  • To report discrimination in relation to this Executive Order: Contact the Minnesota Department of Human Rights at 1-833-454-0148 or submit a report at Report Discrimination Online.
  • For general questions about face covering requirements or COVID-19: Contact the Minnesota Department of Health by phone at 651-297-1304 or 1-800-657-3504, or submit an inquiry using the Have a Question? We're here to help online form.

More information can be found here.