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Because of the coronavirus pandemic, Minneapolis businesses will have three more months before they must start charging a nickel fee for one-time-use bags.

The city's elected leaders passed a new ordinance last year that requires most retailers to charge customers a 5-cent fee for single-use paper or plastic bags.

Although the new rule has been on the books since Jan. 1, the city had said it intended to spend the first six months of year focusing on educating businesses rather than citing them for violating the requirement.

City spokeswoman Sarah McKenzie said this week that the city has decided to suspend enforcement until Oct. 1 because of the pandemic.

The ordinance was designed to reduce waste and litter. In recent months, some businesses have decided to prohibit customers from bringing in reusable bags, in hopes that it will minimize the chances of spreading the virus.

Liz Navratil