Minnesota Governor Tim Walz announced Friday morning that the state's golf courses and a number of other outdoor activity-based businesses will be able to open under a new executive order.

Executive Order 20-38, which loosens some restrictions during the COVID-19 'Stay At Home' order will give Minnesotans the chance to get out and enjoy some outdoor activities as spring weather gets underway. While this new guidance will allow people around the state to enjoy some of their favorite outdoor activities, the need to socially distance (maintaining at least 6 feet of clearance between you and others) and take other precautions to limit the spread of COVID-19 are still stressed.

Under the order issued Friday morning, the following businesses may reopen or remain open:

  • Bait shops for live bait
  • Outdoor shooting ranges and game farms
  • Public and private parks and trails
  • Golf courses and driving ranges

Other related services in the new order include:

  • Boating and off-highway vehicle services, including:
  • Marina services
  • Dock installation and other lake services
  • Boat and off-highway vehicle sales and repair, by appointment only

Things that remain closed under this new order include campgrounds and dispersed camping, outdoor recreational equipment retail stores, recreational equipment rental, charter boats, launches, and guided fishing businesses.

The order goes into effect at 5 am on Saturday, April 18. This means golf courses and other businesses listed could open this weekend, if they are ready to do so. Much of that now relies on the businesses themselves in readying their facilities for the season, particularly if they are behind schedule due to COVID-19.

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Governor Walz issued a statement with this executive order, saying "Minnesotans should continue to take part in outdoor activities close to their primary residence. Staying home helps protect Minnesotans from spreading COVID-19 and limits pressure on rural medical facilities and essential supplies."

This request continues that of Walz and officials from organizations like the DNR who are encouraging people to enjoy the outdoors including places like state parks and trails, but do so near home, rather than traveling out their home area.

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