Skip to main content

Minnesota changes COVID-19 restrictions on bar, restaurant dining

Capacity limits will still be in place, but table sizes can grow.

The Walz Administration has revealed new guidance for bars and restaurants during the COVID-19 pandemic, still keeping total capacity limited but allowing larger parties to dine at restaurants.

Since June 10, restaurants and bars are only allowed to seat tables of four people – or six if they're from the same household, while their total capacity has been kept at 50% of their occupancy limits.

Under new guidance that goes into effect immediately, dining rooms will now be able to seat parties of up to 10 people – irrespective of whether they're from the same household.

However, tables in bar areas – where the risk of COVID-19 transmission is believed to be higher – will be limited to a maximum of four people.

Reservations will still be required at all establishments, patrons will not be allowed to dance, and all patrons will be required to be seated.

Screen Shot 2020-10-08 at 11.35.20 AM

The state's facemask mandate meanwhile states that masks must still be worn until sitting down at a table, and even then are encouraged to be kept on except when eating or drinking.

Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development Commissioner Steve Grove said the changes to the restrictions have come in response to conversations the state has had with the hospitality industry.

Follow Bring Me The News on News Break

Grove says that the change to groups of 10 people or fewer – with at least 6 feet of space between tables still required – will give venues "flexibility to optimize space," with a view to providing more revenue opportunities as the challenging winter period approaches.

COVID-19 rates have stayed relatively stable in Minnesota in recent months, unlike the soaring cases seen in the likes of Wisconsin and South Dakota, which have had fewer COVID-19 restrictions in place.

Minnesota's positivity rate has been hovering around the 5% level for months, whereas Wisconsin, South Dakota and Iowa are now seeing weekly rates in excess of 15%.

Next Up

Flickr - face masks covid pole - Ivan Radic

'Everyone should really be masking up' in public, Malcolm says

The health commissioner said residents have gotten "a little bit lax" with some protective measures.

Byron Buxton

Byron Buxton believes he's the best player in baseball

"Nobody [does] the things that I do. I know that."

unsplash medical marijuana

Edibles coming to Minnesota's medical marijuana program

MDH also announced it will not add anxiety as qualifying condition.

plow, snowplow, snow

Plowable snow possible this weekend in Minnesota

Up to half a foot of snow could fall within the heaviest band.

Best Buy - jjbers, Flickr

Police reveal new details about 'coordinated' Best Buy thefts

A large group stole thousands of dollars in merchandise from three Twin Cities Best Buy stores.

Seven Points exterior - 2

New tenant revealed for former Libertine spot in Uptown

The space will combine playful art offerings with a restaurant.

white Christmas

What are Minnesota's chances of a white Christmas this year?

The Twin Cities averages a white Christmas about 3 out of every 4 years.

ilhan omar press conference voicemail screengrab 11.30.21

'You will not live much longer b***': Rep. Omar shares threatening voicemail

Omar's office received the call hours after Rep. Boebert posted her video about the MN congresswoman.

Screen Shot 2021-12-01 at 11.24.09 AM

ESPN's 'Booger' makes fun of Wild fans' record cup snake

He's the same guy who thought the "Minneapolis Miracle" was bad for the Vikings.

brian ingram

Woodfired Cantina closes at Keg and Case in St. Paul

Restaurateur Brian Ingram is focusing on growing his other concepts.

giant bear

Video: 'THE fattest bear we have ever seen' spotted on MN trail camera

"This might be THE fattest bear we have ever seen in our area," researchers said.



Bars, restaurants allowed to reopen for indoor dining Monday

Party sizes will be limited and reservations are required.

Bar beer

14 bars warned for COVID-19 violations are now in compliance

The DPS returned for follow-up checks at the affected bars.

Muddy Waters, coronavirus, covid-19

Walz: Change to restaurant, bar guidance unlikely before June 1

Churches can allow 25% capacity up to 250 people, but bars and restaurants can only serve a max of 50 customers outside only.


22 bars, restaurants added to list of those linked to COVID-19 outbreaks

The Minnesota Department of Health has recorded 51 bars and restaurants tied to coronavirus outbreaks.

Governor Tim Walz

Walz to announce loosening of restrictions on indoor dining Wednesday

Indoor dining service has been banned since Nov. 18 amid spiraling COVID-19 cases, which have since declined.