Publish date:

Reports: Walz to allow limited capacity inside bars, restaurants; more changes

Walz will formalize guidance at a 2 p.m. press conference.
Author:
Tim Walz

Gov. Tim Walz is expected to announce a series of changes to COVID-19 restrictions on bars, restaurants, and entertainment businesses in his 2 p.m. briefing Wednesday. 

With the governor briefing legislative and business leaders Wednesday morning, details have started to emerge about what Walz will announce ahead of the current ban on dine-in service coming to an end at 11:59 p.m. Jan. 10.

Based on reports from Twin Cities media, here's some of what he's expected to announce:

  • 50% capacity for indoor dining at bars and restaurants with a 10 p.m. closing time, according to Blois Olson's Morning Take. 
  • Olson says restaurants can't exceed 150 customers.
  • Other bar/restaurant rules: 6 people max per table, 6-foot distancing, bar seating for 2 people together at a time.
  • Bowling alleys and movie theaters allowed to reopen at 25% capacity, according to KSTP's Tom Hauser. 
  • Spectators allowed at sports events at 25% of capacity, up to 250 outdoors, 150 outdoors, per Olson.
  • Rules expected to go into effect from Monday.

The state had loosened restrictions following a downturn in cases over the summer, allowing restaurants to open for indoor dining at 50% capacity to a maximum of 250 people. In October, it also increased the maximum number of people allowed at a single table to 10.

But the spike in cases that followed in October and November – bringing the state's COVID-19 outbreak to record levels – prompted Walz to dial back the state's loosening of restrictions.

Sign up for our BREAKING NEWS newsletters

On Nov. 10 he imposed a 10 p.m. curfew on bars and restaurants, a cap of 150 people allowed for indoor dining, and an end to bar counter service. He also announced a limit of 50 people – later reducing to 25 people – at weddings and funerals, and a limit on social gatherings to 10 people. 

But stiffer restrictions followed in the form of his "pause" that went into effect in Nov. 18 as the surge continued, with bars and restaurants having to close for indoor service, and youth sports temporarily shut down along with gyms and entertainment venues.

Since then, COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations have declined significantly from the peak on Nov. 30, prompting Walz to loosen restrictions once again.

Gyms were allowed to reopen with limited capacity on Dec. 20 and outdoor dining was allowed to resume the same day, while youth sports practices resumed Jan. 4.

Next Up

ISSAboveYou - Duluth North Shore - Oct 18 2021

Watch: Mille Lacs, Duluth captured in stunning video from ISS

The space station provides a vantage point 260 miles above the Earth's surface.

2048px-The_Weeknd_with_hand_in_the_air_performing_live_in_Hong_Kong_in_November_2018

Ladies and gentlemen, The Weeknd has canceled his St. Paul show

He's made changes to his 2022 tour that involves scrapping his Xcel Energy Center gig.

Pixabay - police lights, tape

Man released from custody after admitting to fatal shooting in ND

Authorities said there is no threat to the public.

rochester-water-tower

MN water tower in the running for Tank of the Year

It was the only water tank to receive more than 5,000 votes.

first snow

Any sign of snow in the forecast for Minnesota?

The stars could align for some flurries in northern Minnesota this week, but that's about it.

Flickr - 14 year old vaccine shot - Navy Medicine

Walz announces $200 reward for kids 12-17 who get COVID shots

Those ages have the lowest vaccination rates among all eligible age groups.

Screen Shot 2021-10-15 at 10.01.55 PM

Police still searching for suspect who opened fire at Plymouth movie theater

It sparked a partial evacuation of the Emagine Willow Creek theater.

covid, vaccine

Minnesota's COVID-19 update for Monday, October 18

Hospitalizations have surpassed 1,000 in the latest update.

Related

Governor Tim Walz

Walz to extend bar and restaurant shutdown through holidays

Walz will formalize plans during a 1:15 p.m. press conference.

restaurant

Reports: Gov. Walz to allow dine-in service to resume, gyms to reopen

The governor will provide an official update at 2 p.m. Friday.

Tim Walz

Gov. Walz plans shutdown changes: here's what we know

Details are starting to leak out ahead of the announcement.

restaurant patio

Walz to reopen outdoor seating at restaurants, allow larger holiday gatherings

Some venues have been making outdoor seating work using patio heaters in recent months.