Gov. Walz announces plans for outdoor dining, limited occupancy salons

Pexels/MGN Minnesota is one of many states that have begun to lift stay-at-home orders in various phases.

Governor Tim Walz has announced the next phases in the state’s “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% 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.

“Our restaurants and bars are an integral part of the social fabric of Minnesota, and it has been heartbreaking to see this pandemic wreak havoc on our hospitality industry,” said Gov. Walz. 

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.

“This is a measured approach that matches the thoughtfulness and generosity of our restauranteurs, who have found creative ways to safely feed their neighbors throughout this pandemic – but making this work relies on all of us,” said Lt. Gov. Peggy Flanagan. 

“It’s important for all Minnesotans to remember that they have a big role to play in making this reopening process successful,” said Minnesota Department of Health Commissioner Jan Malcolm. “By continuing to follow social distancing guidelines, wearing masks, washing hands, and staying home when sick, we can limit the spread of COVID-19 and protect our most vulnerable friends and family members.”

On May 13, Gov. Walz replaced Minnesota’s stay-at-home order with the “Stay Safe,” which 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. 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.

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. Businesses must continue to protect their employees while also taking steps to protect their customers. 

Information  about the Stay Safe Plan can be found at bit.ly/StaySafeMinn

Information on worker protections can be found at bit.ly/MNWorkerProtection.

—Information provided by the Office of Tim Walz and Office of Peggy Flanagan.

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