Gov. Walz has loosened restrictions on restaurants and other establishments

This afternoon Gov. Tim Walz held a press briefing, describing the next step in Minnesota’s reopening plan. In an executive order, the governor has loosened restrictions to allow indoor dining beginning June 10th. The executive order will also allow movie theaters and other entertainment venues, as well as fitness clubs and swimming pools to reopen. The order, additionally, expands capacity for other establishments that were already open.

The maximum number of allowed people in any indoor organized setting is 250. Outdoor organized meetings which were capped at 10 people have been expanded to allow for 25 people in this new phase.


Restaurants are no longer limited to outdoor dining. Beginning next Wednesday, restaurants can sit people inside at 50% capacity, with a maximum of 250. Their outdoor limit has been raised from 50 to 250 as well. Workers and customers are still encouraged to wear masks and undertake social distancing as well as sanitization measures. Reservation requirements will remain in place for the next phase.

Expanded capacity for other establishments

Hair salons, nail salons, and barbershops which were limited to 25 percent can now sit customers at 50 percent capacity. Places of worship can also gather at 50 percent instead of 25 percent.  Social distancing measures are also encouraged for all these establishments.

Other places to finally open

Gyms and fitness centers, which have been closed can now open at 25 percent capacity. Entertainment venues such as movie theatres, bowling alleys, and arcade venues can also open at 25 percent capacity. Swimming pools due to their low level of risk, are allowed to open at 50 percent capacity.

Some measures are encouraged for businesses that were never closed.

Critical businesses that were never required to close under Walz’s prior stay-at-home order, which ended May 18 after 51 days, must now develop social distancing plans as well to ensure they are minimizing the risk of virus transmission for their workers, the sources said.

With the previous arrangement which only allowed outdoor seating requirements for restaurants, some establishments were not able to open. And those that could open were facing issues with erratic weather.

These restaurants could definitely prefer that this amendment came sooner. And so would a lot of people who drove to other states for dining and entertainment services.  Certainly, this should make it easier for places like restaurants and bars to resume their operations. However, a full reopening would likely be the best option for Minnesota’s business and the economy.