Walz eases rules on restaurants, gyms, gatherings

Walz eases rules on restaurants, gyms, gatherings Photo: State of Minnesota

WDIO-TV
Updated: February 12, 2021 10:53 AM
Created: February 12, 2021 10:42 AM

Gov. Tim Walz has issued an executive order that eases rules for restaurants, indoor entertainment venues, gyms, and private gatherings.

The new rules will take effect Saturday at Noon. Percentages for maximum capacities will not change but larger venues will be allowed to admit more people.

The "not to exceed" capacity will increase to 250 people for restaurants, indoor entertainment venues, gyms, and pools, and to 50 people for private events and celebrations. However, the maximum capacity will remain at 50% for restaurants and 25% for indoor entertainment venues, gyms, pools, private events, and celebrations.

Restaurants will also be able to stay open until 11 p.m., and the distancing requirement for gyms and pools will be reduced to six feet.

"Our small businesses have made enormous sacrifices for the health of their employees and communities," Walz said in a news release. "Today, we can make these cautious, common sense adjustments to support them because of the progress we have made controlling the spread of COVID-19 and getting the most at-risk Minnesotans vaccinated."

Department of Employment and Economic Development Commissioner Steve Grove said in the news release that while the changes are not a major dial turn, he believes they will make a difference for businesses.

Shortly before the Walz administration publicly announced the changes, Minnesota House Republicans issued a news release saying that the governor's office had not kept them informed on the changes and that they had only been updated through media reports.

"The governor's total lack of engagement and communication leaves lawmakers with no answers when our constituents call distraught and desperate for information about the executive orders. These venue owners and the businesses who serve them have had their livelihoods devastated over the past year, and they feel ignored and disrespected by the administration's refusal to communicate and make decisions transparently with clear timelines so they can start rebuilding their businesses," Rep. John Poston (R-Lake Shore) said in a news release.

Poston and Rep. Lisa Demuth (R-Cold Spring) criticized a 50-person cap on wedding venues, saying it doesn't make sense when compared with rules for restaurants.

Credits

WDIO-TV

Copyright 2021 WDIO-TV LLC, a Hubbard Broadcasting Company. All rights reserved

Jury selection on pause for ex-cop charged in Floyd's death

One Year Later: Lantern release and prayer vigil honors Jackie DeFoe and her children

Two children injured in UTV accident on Boulder Lake

US states look to step up wolf kills, pushed by Republicans

With virus aid in sight, Democrats debate filibuster changes

Floyd's cause of death, ex-cop's force will be keys at trial