Gov. Walz modifies capacity restrictions for restaurants, gyms, entertainment and celebration venues
Effective noon Saturday, restaurants, indoor entertainment venues, gyms and private events will be allowed larger maximum capacity head counts, though the percent capacity will remain the same.
The changes come after Gov. Tim Walz signed a new executive order Friday, according to a release from his office.
The executive order does not change the capacity limit for these situations — 50% for restaurants and 25% for indoor entertainment venues and gyms and pools — it increases the "not to exceed" ceiling to 250. That limit was previously 150 people.
For celebrations and receptions in venues, the capacity limit was left at 25% but increased the head count limit from 10 to 50 people.
Also in Executive Order 21-07 is an allowance for restaurants to stay open until 11 p.m. (previously 10 p.m.).
Furthermore, gyms can reduce the spacing distance between their equipment from 9 feet to 6 feet.
“Our small businesses have made enormous sacrifices for the health of their employees and communities,” Walz said in a press release Friday. “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 the measures don't constitute a "major dial turn," but will make a difference to thousands of the state's businesses and workers.
Rep. Lisa Demuth, R-Cold Spring, issued a statement Friday expressing concern over the latest executive order's limits on indoor gathering restrictions that include wedding venues. She called the 50-person limit "arbitrary and harmful" and a move that would continually hurt businesses affiliated with the wedding industry.