Minnesota bars and restaurants will be allowed to open for in-person service at 50% capacity starting Monday, Jan. 11, under a series of eased COVID-19 restrictions announced Wednesday.
Walz in a news conference said measures taken this fall and winter such as closing in-person dining statewide helped slow the spread of coronavirus.
"We want to make some changes — we want to change the dial a little bit," he said about the cautious loosening of restrictions. He reiterated a call for Minnesotans to wear face coverings and practice social distancing to help keep bars and restaurants open going forward.
Here's what will change for businesses, events and more. Find the full list at https://mn.gov/covid19/stay-safe/stay-safe-plan/index.jsp
Restaurants and bars
- The 50% limit on in-person service also caps at 150 people, both indoors and outdoors.
- Parties are limited to six people and must remain six feet from other parties.
- Parties of up to two are allowed to use bar seating with prior reservation.
- Establishments must close between 10 p.m. and 4 a.m.
Gyms, personal fitness and yoga studios, martial arts
- Gym capacity will continue to limited to 25%, but the maximum number of patrons will increase to 150.
- Fitness machines and patrons should keep nine feet apart.
- Gym classes can increase to 25 people if proper distancing can be observed.
- Everyone in the gym is required to wear face coverings.
Indoor events and entertainment
- Venues are allowed to open at 25% capacity, with a maximum of 150 people.
- Face coverings are required, and no food service is allowed after 10 p.m.
Pools and swim parks
- Allowed to open at 25% capacity.
Organized sports (adult and youth)
- Practices can resume at midnight Jan. 11, with games resuming Jan. 14 — though with limited spectators based on venue capacity.
- For indoor games, spectators are limited according to indoor venue guidance (25% capacity, up to 150). For outdoor games, limits follow outdoor entertainment guidance (25% capacity, up to 250).
- Inter-region tournaments and out of state play are discouraged. (See COVID-19 Sports Practice Guidance for Youth and Adults — Link is external)
Reception spaces for celebrations or private parties
Wedding receptions and other private parties may resume with limits:
- If food and drink are served then, they are limited to two households or 10 people indoors and 3 households or 15 people outdoors.
- If there is no food or drink, they are covered by indoor event venue guidelines.
State Sen. Mike Goggin of Red Wing in a statement Wednesday praised the governor's move, while saying more needs to be done to save businesses effected by pandemic-related disruptions.
"These businesses have proven time after time that they know how to operate safely," the Republican lawmaker said. "Let’s let them reopen following CDC safety protocols like big box stores can, so these folks can get back to work right away.”
Walz commented on his latest executive order in the afternoon amid turmoil in the nation's capital after supporters of President Donald Trump stormed the U.S. Capitol Building while lawmakers met to certify the election of Joe Biden. Demonstrations also were held at the the Minnesota State Capitol and governor's mansion.
"I just want to take a moment to assure Minnesotans that the situation here is calm and stable," Walz said.