Gov. Walz shares timeline to end Minnesota COVID-19 restrictions |

Gov. Walz shares timeline to end Minnesota COVID-19 restrictions

Gov. Walz shares timeline to end Minnesota COVID-19 restrictions

Updated: May 06, 2021 06:57 PM
Created: May 06, 2021 10:21 AM

Minnesota Governor Tim Walz shared a timeline for ending COVID-19 restrictions across the state Thursday.

The goal is to end nearly all restrictions by May 28th, and end the statewide mask mandate once 70% of Minnesotans age 16 years and older get their vaccine, or by July 1.

"It's been a long journey, but we did the things that needed to be done," Governor Walz said. "Let's win this thing. Let's end this strong."

According to Walz, the timeline for ending restrictions will come in three phases.

The phases go as follows:

Phase One will begin on May 7. It includes initial steps to relax some restrictions, primarily in outdoor settings.

  • Removes limits for outdoor dining, events, and other get-togethers, and ends the mask requirement outdoors except at large venues with over 500 people.
  • Eliminates the state-established mandatory closing time for bars, restaurants, and food and beverage service at other places of public accommodation.

Phase two will begin on May 28. At this time, remaining capacity and distancing limits will come to an end, including for indoor events and gatherings. The requirements that will remain include:

  • Face coverings indoors and for outdoor events that exceed 500 people.
  • There will be no new safety requirements for businesses, though they must maintain their plans to keep their employees and customers safe – as they have from the beginning of the pandemic – guided only by a minimal universal state guidance document.

Phase three will begin when 70% of Minnesotans age 16 years and older – 3,087,404 Minnesotans – get at least one dose of the vaccine, but no later than July 1.

  • The remaining face covering requirement and the requirement for preparedness plans will end. Work on vaccines will continue, and local jurisdictions and entities may set their own mask policies.

According to the Governor’s office, the Safe Learning Plan for schools will continue until the end of the school year to protect students, teachers, and staff since children are not yet eligible for the vaccine. Furthermore, the Governor’s office said that protections, including the eviction moratorium, a ban on price gouging, and eligibility exemptions for people who receive state services will remain.

Additionally, local jurisdictions and businesses may still require masks and have other requirements beyond July 1.

Governor Walz’s announcement comes after over two million Minnesotans have gotten their vaccine and the state is on track to vaccinate 70% of Minnesotans by the end of June.

“Our nation-leading vaccination effort has put us in a strong position to safely transition toward life as we used to know it,” Walz said. “The pandemic is not over and we have work to do. But from the State Fairgrounds, to doctor’s offices, to retrofitted Metro Transit buses that deliver vaccines where they’re most needed, Minnesotans now have more opportunities than ever to get the vaccine when and where they want to. As cases recede, more people get vaccinated every day, and vaccines are readily available to all who want it, we can now confidently and safely set out our path back to normal.”

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