Loosened COVID-19 Restrictions
Last week, the Governor announced a three-step timeline to end nearly all COVID-19 restrictions by May 28, and end the statewide masking requirement once 70% of Minnesotans aged 16 years and older get their vaccine, or by July 1.
This announcement comes as more than 2.6 million Minnesotans have been vaccinated and is on track to vaccinate 70% of Minnesotans by the end of June.
The most at-risk Minnesotans – seniors, long-term care residents, assisted living residents, educators, and front-line workers – have been vaccinated. Nearly 90 percent of Minnesotans over the age of 65 have received at least one dose.
Since mid-April, COVID-19 cases have declined. Hospitals are seeing fewer admissions and vaccination progress has relentlessly pushed forward. Vaccines held COVID-19 variants at bay and avoided having them overwhelm our state.
Step One took place at noon on May 7. It includes initial steps to relax some restrictions, primarily in outdoor settings.
- Removes limits for outdoor dining, events, and other get-togethers, and ends the mask requirement outdoors except at large venues with over 500 people.
- Eliminates the state-established mandatory closing time for bars, restaurants, and food and beverage service at other places of public accommodation.
Step Two begins on May 28. Remaining capacity and distancing limits will come to an end, including for indoor events and gatherings. The requirements that will remain include:
- Face coverings indoors and for outdoor events that exceed 500 people.
- Businesses and other venues must have plans that keep their employees and customers safe – as they have from the beginning of the pandemic – guided only by a minimal universal state guidance document that includes no new requirements.
Step Three takes place once 70 percent of Minnesotans age 16 years and older – 3,087,404 Minnesotans – get at least one dose of the vaccine, but no later than July 1.
- The remaining face covering requirement and the requirement for preparedness plans will end. Work on vaccines will continue, and local jurisdictions and entities may set their own mask policies.
Because the youngest Minnesotans are not yet eligible for the vaccine, the Safe Learning Plan for schools will continue until the end of the school year to protect students, teachers, and staff in schools.
Additional protections will remain, including the eviction moratorium, a ban on price gouging, and eligibility exemptions for people who receive state services. The state will continue its emergency efforts to get Minnesotans tested and vaccinated.
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