Gov. Walz announces golf courses to reopen and expansion of outdoor recreation amid COVID-19 pandemic

Friday, Gov. Tim Walz issued an executive order that expands outdoor recreation opportunities for Minnesotans during the COVID-19 epidemic.

The order allows for Minnesotans to take part in golfing, boating, fishing, hunting and hiking while following social distancing guidelines.

The new order goes into effect Saturday at 5 a.m.

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"It’s important for us to stay active and enjoy the outdoors while preventing the spread of COVID-19," Walz said in a statement. "This measure will allow Minnesotans to take advantage of more opportunities to get outside, while still doing their part to keep their neighbors healthy."

Walz’s decision also allows a number of businesses to reopen, including golf courses and driving ranges, bait shops, outdoor shooting ranges and boating services.

While the order expands outdoor opportunities, campgrounds, outdoor retailers, recreational equipment rental, charter boats and guided fishing remain closed.

The governor’s office also urged that residents recreate close to home to avoid spreading COVID-19 and putting pressure on rural medical facilities.