Coronavirus: Restaurants, bars can reopen for outdoor dining

Gov. Tim Walz has announced his plans for the reopening of bars and restaurants.
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Gov. Time Walz

Gov. Tim Walz has announced a series of changes to his Stay Safe Minnesota orders, that will allow for the reopening of bars, restaurants, and salons – albeit with restrictions – from June 1.

Food establishments will be allowed to open for outdoor seating only, while salons and barbershops can operate at 25 percent capacity.

Here's a look at the restrictions that bars and restaurants will have to abide by:

  • Outdoor dining only.
  • 6-feet distance must be maintained between customers.
  • Staff must wear masks, recommended for customers (when not eating or drinking).
  • Maximum of 50 capacity at one time.
  • Maximum 4 people per table, 6 if same family.

For salons, tattoos, and barbershops, it's as follows:

  • Staff AND customers must wear masks.
  • 25 percent capacity.
  • 6-feet of distance between customers.

Campgrounds and charter boats will also be allowed to reopen, though further guidance on this will be forthcoming at a later stage.

As of yet, large-scale church services can't resume, with the limits of 10 or fewer worshippers remaining in place for now. Gyms and movie theaters must also stay closed, with no date announced for their reopening.

At the moment, youth programs and recreation guidelines stay as they are for now, with youth camps being day-use only, and youth sports only permitted if in groups of 10 or smaller. Further loosening of these restrictions will come at a later phase.

"These health guidelines are not an impediment to open our economy, they're the key to opening our economy. Consumers are going to make the choice, consumers are going to go back when they're safe," Walz said.

"Restaurants and bars are integral to what makes Minnesota great, they make life just a little bit better," Walz continued, but added that "the virus won't allow business as usual."

"While it's not perfect, it's safe, and we're moving the dial."

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"It's so maddening I know, there's so much about this virus that are predictable, and there's just so much that is unpredictable," Walz said.

"The one thing we can control is how we act, what we do, and the past 3 months we've tried to make sure is that when people do get sick they can go to the hospital and get the treatment they need," Walz said.

Fitness centers however will not be allowed to reopen till mid-July, while there is no sign yet that youth sports will be allowed to resume.

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