Gov. Walz signs executive order to allow restaurants and bars to expand outdoor dining

Gov. Tim Walz signed an executive order on Tuesday that allows bars and restaurants to expand outdoor dining to Trunk Highway right-of-way space, where commercial activity is normally restricted.

This action is intended to provide flexibility for businesses without existing outdoor dining space and help improve public health by allowing more space for distancing in outdoor dining.

“We are committed to supporting our small businesses through this pandemic,” Walz said in a statement. “This action will help mitigate the economic impacts of COVID-19 on our bars and restaurants, allow for a little more distance in outdoor dining, and help our beloved neighborhood businesses make ends meet.”

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Under the "stay safe" order, bars and restaurants are allowed and encouraged to offer outdoor dining with safety precautions in place.

Under Executive Order 20-63, bars and restaurants that serve food outside are required to protect the health and safety of Minnesotans, including maintaining social distancing and requiring masks for employees.

This executive order is effective immediately upon approval by the Minnesota Executive Council.