Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz announced Tuesday, Nov. 10 that bars and restaurants will need to abide by an earlier closing time for in-person service, while wedding venues and gathering spaces need to also curb back their crowds in an effort to flatten the latest spike in COVID-19 cases statewide.
“This is a critical time in the pandemic,” he told Minnesota media outlets in a news conference announcing the initiatives. “The work we’ve done in the spring and early summer could be pretty much undone here. Our medical community has worked with us. We are seeing young adults as contracting the virus disproportionately from what we would expect, and these new guidelines are an effort to address that,” he said.
Here’s a rundown of the changes:
- A new universal limit of 10 people for indoor and outdoor gatherings
- The host should welcome three households or less, including the host
- Effective at 10 p.m. Friday, Nov. 13
“We need to move now,” Walz said. “This is happening incredibly quickly.”
Walz said this would not be enforced/patrolled by police – specifically on Thanksgiving. But he’s hoping the guideline – like the 25 person guide that was in place for the summer months – can help all families keep things closer to home and the virus from spreading from family to family.
This was echoed by a handful of doctors who spoke at the event, and a written press release from the Minnesota medical community supporting Walz’s latest rollback.
Receptions including weddings and funerals
- Two phases to roll back attendance at these sorts of social gatherings
- 50-person limit on Nov. 27
- 25-person limit on Dec. 11
- The events cannot take place between 10 p.m. and 4 a.m.
- No change to the actual wedding ceremony or funeral service – similar planned ceremony – only the reception or celebration that is typically held after.
“We know this is a tough ask, and we’re working with venues to see what we can do for people who have planned large events already for this winter,” Walz said. “There are many cases that are flat-out connected to these events. Huge outbreaks for several communities. And a lot of it is happening late at night.”
Bars and restaurants
- Establishments will remain, as they are now, at 50 percent capacity, with no more than 150 people total
- Counter closed for seating and service, unless counter-only service establishment – in other words, no bellying up to the bar
- All people in the establishment must be seated at tables
- No games that require standing
- No service 10 p.m. to 4 a.m.
- The changes will go into effect Friday, Nov. 13, at 10 p.m. statewide, Walz said.