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Gov. Tim Walz to announce 'phased plans' for reopening bars, restaurants

The governor is expected to lay out plans for reopening dine-in service.

Gov. Tim Walz will on Wednesday announce new plans to reopening the bars, restaurants and other "public accommodations" that have been closed since the onset of the COVID-19 outbreak.

The governor said last week that his administration would produce guidance on the reopening of dine-in service at bars and restaurants by May 20, and Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development Commissioner Steve Grove confirmed this will happen on Wednesday.

Grove describes what's coming as "phased plans" for reopening the hospitality industry, with Gov. Walz having previously given a tentative date of June 1 for reopening.

While Grove only referred to "bars, restaurants & places of public accommodation" in his brief tweet on Tuesday, Walz has previously said that hair salons and barbershops would be included in that.

It's not clear yet what other public accommodations are being considered in the guidelines.

Restaurants and bars have been shut down since mid-March, and when they return are likely to be significantly different than before.

Enhanced cleaning and capacity restrictions are some of the ideas suggested so far, while some restaurants and cities are considering expanding their patio dining areas.

But some, including Gavin Kaysen's Spoon & Stable and Bellecour restaurants, have said it's likely they won't be ready in time to reopen on June 1, while others have expressed concern about the additional cost of sourcing PPE in an industry where profit margins are already razor thin.

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