Skip to main content

Walz to announce new COVID restrictions, including for restaurants, in Wednesday speech

Walz will address Minnesota at 6 p.m.
  • Author:
  • Updated:
Tim Walz

Gov. Tim Walz will announce a series of new restrictions aimed at limiting the spread of COVID-19 during a speech on Wednesday evening.

Walz will address Minnesotans at 6 p.m., when he will unveil his administration's new guidance as the state continues to deal with the escalating COVID crisis.

A Walz spokesman confirmed to BMTN that the new restrictions will include bars and restaurants, as well as gyms, fitness centers and social gatherings.

Walz spoke on Tuesday afternoon, but had only intimated that restrictions on youth sports would be forthcoming on Wednesday. Youth sports will be addressed in his 6 p.m. speech, with fall high school sports expected to be put on pause.

More details are expected to come out Wednesday ahead of Walz's speech.

The governor had previously expressed a reluctance for a return to the level of restrictions seen in the spring at the start of the pandemic, which included a two-and-a-half month shutdown for restaurants, bars, and non-essential retail, but did suggest on Tuesday that his administration would have to make tough decisions that could impact small businesses.

Last week he announced measures including the suspension of dine-in service at bars and restaurants after 10 p.m., as well as setting a new limit on social gatherings at 10 people from three households.

The situation has continued to worsen in Minnesota however, with the state's hospital system approaching capacity with worse set to come considering the growth in cases seen over the past week. On Tuesday, Health Commissioner Jan Malcolm said the 10-person maximum for social gatherings is no longer "safe" such is the speed at which the virus is spreading, and urged Minnesotans not to attend Thanksgiving gatherings.

"The velocity that this is moving now compared to any other time is simply stunning," said Walz. "I just want to be totally candid with folks. Everything that gets directed toward these small businesses is awful, and it's nothing that we want to do. This is in the name of public health."

It comes as other states have been stepping up their COVID response. Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer this week announce a "three week pause" that includes the suspension of in-person tuition at schools and colleges, the closure of casinos and movie theaters, and the shutdown of indoor service at bars and restaurants.

Iowa and North Dakota – where COVID cases are among the highest in the country – have this week enacted face mask mandates, with Iowa also reducing service hours at bars and restaurants.

Sign up for our BREAKING NEWS newsletters

Next Up

Willmar Police Department

Police: Suspect arrested in Willmar after firing gun at officer

The incident led to a manhunt that lasted into early Sunday morning.

Monti Ossenfort

Vikings lead off general manager interviews with Monti Ossenfort

Several candidates will interview for the job this week.

Payton Willis

Gophers' rally comes up short, lose to Iowa

The Gophers came back from a 23-point deficit but couldn't complete the comeback.


Firefighters respond to smoke-filled cabin to find man asleep inside

A wood stove was determined to be the cause of the smoke.

snow plow msp airport

MSP snowplow drivers reach contract agreement after threatening strike

Teamsters Local 320 reached an agreement with the Metropolitan Airports Commission Saturday.

Kellen Moore

What you should know about the Vikings' head coach candidates

Seven candidates were revealed on Saturday morning.

20211010_Vikings_Lions_REG05_1119 (2)

What is the next Minnesota Vikings GM inheriting?

A look at the strengths and weaknesses of the Vikings' roster and situation


Man dies after being 'punched in the head' during altercation in Duluth

A 46-year-old man is in custody and facing 1st-degree manslaughter charges.

Deion Sanders

Deion Sanders says Zimmer, Spielman hadn't spoken 'in months'

Sanders' comments revealed some of the Vikings' issues last season.

police tape, crime scene

Brooklyn Park man pleads guilty in 2020 fatal drive-by shooting

Devon Manley will be sentenced to life in prison with the possibility of parole after 30 years.


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.


Gov. Walz to announce 'biggest' loosening of COVID restrictions Friday

COVID is declining and vaccinations rising in Minnesota.

Screen Shot 2020-11-18 at 6.51.26 PM

Gov. Walz explains reasoning behind new COVID-19 restrictions

The new restrictions go into effect 11:59 p.m. Friday.


Walz to announce new COVID-19 restrictions at Tuesday press conference

He will reportedly reduce the opening hours of bars and restaurants.