Walz announces gradual reopening of gyms, entertainment venues, indoor dining

Gov. Tim Walz on Friday announced the state will enter Phase III of the ‘Stay Safe MN’ plan beginning June 10, which will turn the dial on reopening the state a little more.

Customers and employees will still be strongly recommended or required to wear masks, and there will still be social distancing and capacity restrictions in place.

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The next phase will allow the reopening of dine-in restaurants, gyms and entertainment venues. All critical businesses will have to develop and implement a COVID-19 preparedness plan to submit to the state.

Under the next phase:

  • Restaurants can begin offering indoor dining while maintaining social distancing, requiring reservations, and seating no more than 50% occupancy.
  • Indoor social gatherings can take place with 10 people or less; outdoor social gatherings can take place with 25 people or less.
  • Gyms, personal fitness and yoga studios, and martial arts may open at 25% capacity.
  • Indoor entertainment venues, such as theaters and concert halls, can open at 25% capacity.
  • Recreational indoor entertainment venues, such as bowling alleys, arcades, and museums may open at 25% capacity.
  • Personal services, such as salons, tattoo parlors, and barbershops, may increase occupancy rates to 50% while requiring reservations.
  • Outdoor entertainment venues, such as sporting events, concerts, and theaters may open at 25% capacity.
  • Places of worship can increase occupancy rates to 50%.

The second phase of the plan just went into effect on Monday, easing more restrictions for restaurants, salons, barbershops and other businesses.

In the event that the COVID-19 outbreak worsens in Minnesota, some of the restrictions could be reimplemented.

"This safe, steady reopening cannot happen without the commitment and vigilance of all Minnesotans to protect themselves and each other against COVID-19," said Lt. Governor Peggy Flanagan. "We must continue wearing masks, washing hands, staying six feet apart, and working from home when possible. Those practices bought us time to learn about and prepare for the virus – and they will keep us safe during this next phase of our response."

"As we face the likelihood of many more months of this disease spreading at various levels in our communities, we must find a way to live with it – accepting a certain level of risk while taking steps to prevent a wave of cases overwhelming our health care sector," Minnesota Department of Health Commissioner Jan Malcolm added. "The goal is to find a proper balance of protections in a way that promotes the best interests of our state. That’s the balance we’re seeking here today."

You can see more differences between the second and third phases of the reopening plan here.