Minneapolis regulation requiring masks inside ‘places of public accommodation’ begins

In an effort to stop the spread of the coronavirus, you are now required to wear a mask or face covering inside a number of places in Minneapolis.

The emergency regulation, signed by Mayor Jacob Frey last week, went into effect Tuesday at 5 p.m.

"Wearing masks is a way to protect other people," Commissioner of Health for the City of Minneapolis, Gretchen Musicant, said.

Minneapolis mayor signs regulation requiring use of mask when inside ‘places of public accommodation’

The emergency regulation means people must wear a face covering at places like grocery stores, government buldings, retail shops, hotels, the skyway, and other indoor venues where the public is allowed.

Plus, Musicant said employers must have a plan in place requiring their staff to participate.

"There will be penalties but I think that’s the last resort," Musicant said.

If you choose not to wear a face covering, it could cost you a misdemeanor $1,000 fine.

"If someone is concerned about a situation where people aren’t wearing the mask, we’re asking them to call 311," Musicant said.

You can wear a mask or any other material that covers your mouth and nose. Musicant encourages people to get creative.

"I’ve also made some by folding up some handkerchiefs and using some rubber bands so there’s lots of ways people can get their face covered," Musicant said.

On Monday, the city held a donation drive at fire stations around town. They collected more than 3,000 masks, which will be given to people and organizations that need them the most.

"The mask drive was really successful," Musicant said.

It’s a regulation to protect you and your neighbors, and city leaders hope people take it seriously.

"It’s just telling people that you care about them and that you want to protect them no matter what," Musicant said.

There is no end date to this emergency regulation. City officials said they are going to follow the governor’s announcements related to COVID-19 and proceed accordingly.