Earlier today, Governor Walz announced he was going to ease some of the restrictions he has put on Minnesota’s residents and business owners during the COVID-19 pandemic.
STATEWIDE CHANGES BEGINNING MONDAY, MARCH 15
o Social gatherings: Up to 50 people outdoors or 15 people for indoor gatherings, both without household limits.
o Youth sports: Pod size increasing to 50 for outdoor activities.
o Religious services: Remove occupancy limit, but social distancing required.
o Celebrations: All venues can open at 50% capacity, up to 250 people
Small business changes:
o Bars and restaurants: Increasing allowable occupancy to 75%, up from 50%, with a limit of 250 people. The limits apply separately indoors and outdoors. Bar seating increases to parties of 4.
o Salons/barbers: Removing the occupancy limit, but social distancing required.
o Gyms/fitness centers/pools: Increasing allowable occupancy to 50%, up from 25%. Outdoor classes can increase to 50 people.
o Entertainment venues: Increasing allowable occupancy to 50%, up from 25%, both indoors and outdoors, with a limit of 250.
STATEWIDE CHANGES BEGINNING APRIL 1
As summer nears, the state will adjust guidelines for large venues. Venues with normal occupant capacity over 500 can add additional guests, effective April 1:
o Seated outdoor venues can add an additional 25% of their capacity over 500, with a limit of 10,000 people.
o Non-seated outdoor venues can add an additional 15% of their capacity over 500, with a limit of 10,000 people.
o Seated indoor venues can add an additional 15% of their capacity over 500, with a limit of 3,000 people.
o Non-seated indoor venues can add an additional 10% of their capacity over 500, with a limit of 1,500 people.
As more Minnesotans are vaccinated, work from home will no longer be required – but it will continue to be strongly recommended – beginning April 15. The governor noted all employers should continue to accommodate employees who wish to work from home.
While this is a step in the right direction, the governor still has not provided a long range plan that Minnesota’s residents and business owners desperately seek. Also worth noting: the governor said he plans to seek to extend his emergency powers on Monday. To date, the House Democratic majority has voted 15 times to allow these emergency powers to continue.
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