MN Government Updates 05.20

Walz Announces Plans for Outdoor Dining, Limited Occupancy Salons

Governor Tim Walz today announced the phases in his Stay Safe Plan, including a cautious, strategic turn of the dial to allow limited outdoor dining at restaurants and bars starting June 1, 2020. The Governor also announced that salons and barbershops will be allowed to open June 1 at 25 percent occupancy to ensure the safety of both the employees and the customers inside. In both industries, customers will be either strongly recommended or required to wear masks, make reservations, and adhere to social distancing requirements to keep themselves, other customers, and employees safe.

Outdoor dining can begin on June 1, with restaurants maintaining social distancing and seating no more than 50 patrons at a time. In addition to outdoor dining, restaurants and bars will be able to continue to offer takeout, curbside, and delivery services, which have been permitted throughout the pandemic in Minnesota. While Minnesota has ranked first in the nation for takeout and delivery patronage during the outbreak of COVID-19, restaurants and bars have been closed for in-person dining since March 17. Since then, the State of Minnesota has worked with the health care sector to expand health care capacity and procure ICU beds, ventilators, and personal protective equipment.

On May 13, Governor Walz replaced Minnesota’s Stay Home order with a Stay Safe order as Minnesota continues to safely turn the dial back towards normal life. The Stay Safe order includes a plan for a phased reopening of society as well as a plan to dial back based on the rate of testing, new cases, hospitalizations, and deaths. Governor Walz has stressed the importance of reopening cautiously and strategically, which is why salons and barbershops will be allowed to reopen on June 1 with only 25 percent occupancy and additional safety measures in place.

Outdoor dining and limited salon occupancy are part of phase II of Governor Walz’s Stay Safe Plan. This phase will go into effect on June 1 and will include the opening of campgrounds and other recreational activities. More information on the actives included in the various phases within the Stay Safe Plan can be found here.

As the Walz-Flanagan Administration works to cautiously adjust the dials in Minnesota, the Governor has taken steps to ensure workers are being protected as more businesses reopen. The Governor signed an executive order preventing workers from being fired for refusing to work in unsafe conditions. Business must continue to protect their employees while also taking steps to protect their customers. More information on worker protections can be found here.

Walz Press Briefing

Today, Governor Tim Walz and administration officials held a press conference with reporters to update the public on today’s reopening guidelines.

Governor Tim Walz

  • On June 1, Governor Walz announced the state will allow:
    • Restaurants and bars to be open in a limited capacity for outdoor services
    • Salons and barbershops to open in limited capacity with the following restrictions:
  • Making a reservation
  • Wearing a mask
  • Washing hands
  • Following social distancing protocols
  • Taking temperatures of individuals, if possible.
  • The governor also said that he will make a decision about whether to make changes on this front in two weeks if hospitalizations rise significantly.

Commissioner Jan Malcom, Department of Health

  • Commissioner Malcolm announced 640 more laboratory-confirmed cases of COVID-19 since yesterday’s report. That brings the state total to 17,670 cases.
    • This is five days in a row of a slower rate of growth
    • However, it’s too soon to declare that a trend.
  • There were 29 more deaths due to COVID-19 since yesterday’s report. This brings the state total to 777.
  • Currently, 550 patients are hospitalized for COVID-19 with 212 of those in the ICU.
  • Yesterday, around 5,500 COVID-19 tests were processed.

Commissioner Steve Grove, Department of Employment and Economic Development

  • Commissioner Grove outlined the June 1 business re-openings for restaurants, bars, salons, campgrounds, and charter boats.
  • Restaurants and bars restrictions
    • Outdoor dining only.
    • 6 feet between tables
    • No more than 50 total people in an outdoor setting
    • Keep party size keep to four total or sx if you are a family
    • Reservations required
    • All workers wear masks and patrons are strongly encouraged to wear masks.
  • Barbershops, hair salons, nail salons restrictions:
    • Limiting capacity to 25% of fire code
    • Masks are required for patron and worker
    • Appointment only
  • Campground restrictions
    • Configuration needs to be socially distant
    • Sanitation plans for common areas
    • More information on the DNR website
  • Charter boat restrictions
    • Social distancing on boats
    • More information on the DNR website
  • He also outlined guidance that has not changed including:
    • Businesses must have teleworking if it is possible.
    • No social gatherings of more than 10 people
    • Retail stores can only have 50% capacity for individuals in the store
    • Churches can only have 10 people or less inside.

The commissioner encouraged Minnesotans to go to the state’s Stay Safe Plan website for information on the next phases of re-openings.

Amos A. Briggs | Government Relations
100 Washington Avenue S | Suite 2200 | Minneapolis MN  55401

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