ST. PAUL, Minn. – Minnesota’s Attorney General says his office will “hold accountable” any businesses serving food and beverages onsite in violation of Governor Walz’ extended COVID closure rules.
About 150 establishments publicly claimed they would defy the new executive order prohibiting them from serving customers inside. The Minnesota AG’s Office says about 40 percent of them can already legally operate, do not in fact intend to violate the executive order, or are anonymous.
Of the rest, about 60 are bars and restaurants and Attorney General Keith Ellison says roughly 20 have indicated they are complying with Walz’ order. Ellison says they are investigating the remainder and that, so far, only a small handful of establishments have openly violated coronavirus restrictions.
Ellison issued the following statement on the situation:
“My job and my duty is to protect Minnesotans. People like to ask, what is the Attorney General going to do? What they should be asking is, what is coronavirus going to do? Coronavirus is deadly and it’s continuing to spread: it doesn’t care who you are or where you live, where you work or where you let off steam. You’re not immune from it and your loved ones aren’t either. No one is.”
“Our approach from the start has been to win voluntary compliance, and in almost all cases, we’ve been able to do so. To those few businesses that are choosing to openly violate the executive order, I say this is the wrong way to go. I don’t enjoy using the enforcement tools I have, but I will use them to hold violators accountable and keep Minnesotans safe.”
“I also want to say to the vast majority of Minnesota businesses that are making sacrifices to comply with the law and keep their customers, employees, and communities safe that I see you and I thank you. You deserve our gratitude. You do not deserve unfair competition from those who are not doing their part.”