Dial back in COVID-19 restrictions to lift attendance limits for religious services, weddings

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On Monday, Minnesota is taking one of its biggest steps toward normalcy during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Gov. Tim Walz announced a number of restrictions will loosen. Part of the rollback includes no limits for weddings or religious services — but social distancing must be practiced.

At Church of New Life in Bloomington, music is in the sanctuary, and it feels like life and joy will soon filling the hallways again.

"We have been cooped up, literally, in the house, and even though we’ve been streaming it’s nothing like coming in and interacting personally," said Pastor Walker. "Nothing short of amazing, you can hear people reconnecting."

It’s the same for churchgoers on Sunday – everyone is excited to finally be reunited with those they’ve been missing.

"It’s a time where you can just become so lonely. And so just being able to be in the midst of other people, and being safe and being safe and all of that stuff, it just makes all the difference in the world," said April Harrison, who goes to Church of New Life.

"We’ve been in the house for a little bit over a year now. And I think this is just a good thing for us to be able to get out and enjoy each other," said Lester Dowdell, who goes to Church of New Life.

Meanwhile, there’s another big change for those who have been waiting to get married while surrounded by friends and family.

"I heard it and I started to cry because to me, I felt like there was more hope we can have that dream day we talked about when we became engaged two years ago," said Katie Moslowski, who is getting married in August.

5 EYEWITNESS NEWS has been following Katie Maslowski and Garrett Nevala’s struggle over the last year, trying to get married during the pandemic.

The two decided to wait another year, setting a date for August. And now, both are feeling like it was worth the wait now that more family and friends can be by their side.

"We’re excited. It’s kind of surreal," Maslowski said.