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American Legion of Minnesota calls on Gov. Walz to allow bars to reopen

There has been pushback to the governor's plan to only allow patio dining to reopen.

The American Legion of Minnesota has joined the growing calls from Minnesota's hospitality industry for Gov. Tim Walz to allow bars and restaurants to reopen for indoor service.

In a letter to Walz released on Thursday, the American Legion criticizes the latest move from the administration, which will allow eateries to reopen for patio dining beginning June 1, with a max capacity of 50 and with reservations required.

It says this is "not the best course of action," echoing concerns from Hospitality Minnesota, which said it was blindsided by the move, calling it "disastrous" for the restaurant industry.

"While we can accept changing our traditional gatherings this Memorial Day, we believe that the recently unveiled modifications that will go into effect on June 1st do not reflect the best course of action," American Legion of Minnesota Commander Mark Dvorak said.

"The standard of outdoor patios only, 50 patrons at a time, a requirement for reservations and wearing masks in all circumstances ( are not suited for our American Legion Posts.

"Governor, we are disappointed in your decision. Your fellow veterans urge you to reconsider and modify the established June 1st opening criteria. We concur with many of the restaurant and bar owners in our communities who believe we can open safely, and we assert that our veteran organization can likely set the highest standards of compliance with social distancing, sanitation and risk mitigation."

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Wearing masks at restaurants are not a requirement under Gov. Walz's order, but is being recommended.

However on Thursday, Minnesota DEED Commissioner Steve Grove said that diners should bring masks to wear when they are using restrooms inside restaurants, which patrons will be allowed to use despite the patio-only rule.

You can see the full letter from the American Legion of Minnesota here.

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