As hospitalizations and the COVID-19 positivity rate continue to decline and the state makes progress in vaccinating those most vulnerable, Governor Tim Walz on Tuesday signed an executive order aimed at supporting Minnesota’s economic recovery and make adjustments to COVID-19 mitigation measures.
“Our small businesses have made enormous sacrifices for the health of their employees and communities,” said Governor Walz. “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.”
“While current trends are encouraging, the discovery of new COVID-19 variants means that we need to stay vigilant and cautious. We are not out of the woods, and we must remember that, as we ease restrictions, the risk of transmission increases,” said Lieutenant Governor Peggy Flanagan. “Today’s step continues our careful balance of protecting the health and safety of Minnesotans while supporting economic recovery.”
Executive Order 21-07, effective Saturday, February 13 at noon, takes steps to further reopen Minnesota’s economy safely, including:
- Increasing the “not to exceed” capacity in restaurants to 250, while leaving the maximum capacity at 50 percent
- Increasing indoor entertainment “not to exceed” capacity to 250, while leaving the maximum capacity at 25 percent
- Increasing private events and celebrations “not to exceed” capacity to 50, while leaving the maximum capacity at 25
- Increasing gym and pool “not to exceed” capacity to 250, while leaving maximum capacity at 25 percent, and reducing distancing requirement to 6 feet.
- Allowing restaurants to stay open until 11 pm.
“While these measures are not a major dial turn, we know that they will make a difference to thousands of businesses and workers across the state,” said Department of Employment and Economic Development Commissioner Steve Grove. “To keep making progress in growing our hospitality sector, it’s critical that we all remain vigilant in fighting COVID-19 by washing our hands, masking up, and staying six feet apart.”
The executive order will have the full force and effect of law upon the approval of the Executive Council, which is made up of Governor Walz, Lieutenant Governor Flanagan, Attorney General Keith Ellison, Secretary of State Steve Simon, and State Auditor Julie Blaha.
More information on the state’s response to COVID-19 is available here.