Lake Minnetonka Conservation District

Lake Safety


Outdoor Recreation During COVID-19

Social Distance Graphic

Many of us look forward to the summer season and lake activities, whether for recreational or economic importance. With the COVID-19 situation, our office has received numerous questions about MN State COVID-19 Governor’s Executive Orders and guidance. The health and safety of all lake users and lake service providers is a priority and we will continue to communicate with the State and Governor’s Office in regards to safe social distancing guidelines and clarifications. A highlight of Orders, Guidance, and References related to recreation are highlighted below. Check with the State for current status of activities.

Information & Resources

The following information will be helpful in practicing social distancing measures and other safety precautions as the COVID-19 situation continues to evolve. Be sure to review other tips for staying healthy on the lake.

Social Distancing While Boating
The following are some minimum actions you should take while boating to meet social distancing guidelines. Information updated July 1, 2020.

  • Stay home if you are sick or exhibiting symptoms consistent with COVID-19 (including fever, cough, or difficulty breathing). Follow self-quarantine guidelines and time frames.
  • Be prepared and limit interactions with other people while boating as much as possible.
  • Boating encouraged with members of household. If you boat with people not in your household, maintain a minimum of 6 feet of distance. Capacity will vary depending on size of the vessel.
  • Use a lake closest to home and go right from your house to your boat and back to avoid any unnecessary contact with others.
  • Practice social distancing guidelines at launches and public spaces.
  • Wash hands or use a recommended hand sanitizer any time you come into contact with shared surfaces.
  • Don’t tether watercraft or raft up; keep recreational boats apart as much as possible to avoid mass gatherings.
  • Leave no trace principles, pack-in and pack-out to keep outdoor spaces safe and healthy. Do not leave potentially contaminated items laying around.

Outdoor Recreation
Executive Order 20-103 on December 16, 2020 modified indoor and outdoor social gathering guidelines. See more details in the Executive Order section below. Minnesotans are excited to continue to spend time outdoors. Review the MN DNR’s outdoor recreation guidelines to keep you and your family safe HERE.

Businesses & Employers
Outdoor recreation facilities can ensure they are doing everything possible to keep visitors and employees safe by reviewing and implementing recommended measures described in the following guides:

Additional Resources

Highlighted Governor’s Orders

  • Executive Order 20-104. On December 23, 2020, this Executive Order addresses safely reopening pools for lap swim, lessons, and organized swim teams. View the Order for more details HERE.
  • Executive Order 20-103. On December 16, 2020, Governor Walz extended and modified Executive Order 20-99. Indoor social activity is limited to gatherings of a maximum of 10 people with no more than two households. Outdoor social gatherings are limited to a maximum of 15 people with no more than three households. All cases must adhere to the precautions for social gatherings posted to the StaySafe Minnesota website, and MN DNR website, View the Order for more details HERE
  • Executive Order 20-74. On June 5, 2020, Governor Tim Walz announced Phase III of the Stay Safe MN plan, to allow cautious re-opening of indoor dining, gyms, and entertainment venues beginning June 10, 2020 and other guidance. More details HERE.
  • Executive Order 20-70. On June 2, 2020, Governor Walz’s Order allow bars and restaurants to expand outdoor dining where normally restricted under certain circumstances. More details HERE.
  • Executive Order 20-63. On May 27, 2020, Phase II of the Stay Safe MN Plan provided including certain allowances for outdoor dining at restaurants and bars, salons and barbershops, charter and launch boats starting June 1, 2020. More details HERE.
  • Executive Order 20-56. On May 13, 2020, the peacetime emergency was extended through June 12, 2020. View the Order for more details HERE. Additional outdoor recreation facilities allowed to open per MN DNR Outdoor Recreation Guidelines and COVID-19 Preparedness Plan including marinas, bait and tackle shops, lake service providers, launches, trails, outdoor recreational equipment rental, etc. View Order HERE,
  • Executive Order 20-48. On April 30, 2020, the Stay At Home Order was extended through May 17, 2020. View the Order HERE.
  • Executive Order 20-38. On April 17, 2020, allowable outdoor recreation was expanded to include activities such as boating, fishing hunting, hiking, and golf using social distancing guidelines. Facilities that may open or remain open include: bait shops for live bait, outdoor shooting ranges, parks and trails, golf courses and driving ranges, boating and off highway vehicles services including marina services, dock installation and other lake services, boat and off highway vehicle sales and repair by appointment only. View the Order for more details HERE and the updated Critical Sector Descriptions HERE.
  • Executive Order 20-35. On April 13, 2020, the peacetime emergency was extended through May 13, 2020. View the Order for more details HERE. Further clarifications to the Critical Sector Descriptions were provided to include marinas, dock installers, and boat delivery. See the Critical Sector Descriptions for more details about the type of allowances HERE.
  • Executive Order 20-33. On April 8, 2020 Governor Walz extended the Stay at Home order until May 4, 2020. View the Order for more details HERE. Governor Walz also provided updated Critical Sector Descriptions HERE.
  • Executive Order 20-20. On March 25, 2020, a Stay at Home order was issued to limit Minnesotans’ movements outside of their homes beyond essential needs. The order is effective at 11:59pm on Friday, March 27 and ends at 5:00pm on Friday, April 10. View the Order for more details HERE.