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Gov. Tim Walz set to announce new plans for restaurant, gym reopenings

The governor is going to turn the dials again.

Gov. Tim Walz is expected to announce his administration's latest plans for business reopenings in response to the COVID-19 virus on Friday.

The governor hinted earlier this week that he would be revealing "Phase 3" of his reopening plan, which includes "getting back restaurants and getting back fitness centers."

That'd because the state's coronavirus death and hospitalization rate is "staying relatively stable," though we're yet to see if there will be any large knock-on effects from the mass protests seen across the Twin Cities over the past week.

KSTP's Tom Hauser is reporting that Walz will reveal the next turn of the state's "economic dial" at 2 p.m.

This could mean a return to dine-in service for restaurants and bars, albeit with probable capacity restrictions, and potentially an increase in the maximum size of gatherings.

Walz last month loosened restrictions to allow patio dining at restaurants, with numerous cities taking measures to allow establishments to place tables on sidewalks, bike lanes and parking lots, while Walz issued an executive order allowing them to even move out onto trunk highways.

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Under plans released last month, the Walz administration said that "Phase 3" of reopening could include increased capacity at hair salons and non-essential retail stores, the phased opening of outdoor events with a 250 max-capacity, and the potential reopening of recreational sports and youth programming.

Gyms and fitness centers were not scheduled to reopen until "Phase 4" later in the summer, though Walz's words earlier this week suggest they will be coming back sooner than planned.

It's also possible that the maximum size of gatherings for friends and family could also increase, from 10 currently to 20.

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