Gov. Walz loosens coronavirus restrictions on restaurants, gyms, churches, entertainment venues
ST. PAUL, Minn. (FOX 9) – Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz announced Friday he is loosening more coronavirus-related restrictions on Minnesota businesses.
Walz will allow restaurant indoor dining, fitness centers, churches and some entertainment venues to reopen at a limited capacity on next Wednesday, June 10.
“We can’t get complacent. We can’t get lazy,” Walz says.
Economic development commissioner Steve Grove pointed to the Walz administration’s “Phase 3” of reopening when asked by lawmakers about the plans at a Friday morning committee hearing. The phase allows retail shops and salons to increase their capacity, while allowing restaurants and bars to reopen their indoor dining spaces for the first time since March.
The state entered the second phase of reopening on Monday, June 1. Under Phase II of the governor’s Stay Safe MN plan, restaurants and bars were allowed to reopen for outside dining only, salons and barbershops could reopen at 25 percent capacity and campgrounds could resume operations with measures in place to ensure social distancing.
As of Friday, Minnesota has reported 1,148 deaths from COVID-19 and 26,980 total positive cases.
The rate of new cases and deaths has not grown nearly as fast as state officials initially feared. Senate Majority Leader Paul Gazelka said he was “glad” for the latest round of reopenings but said Walz needs to immediately end all restrictions.
“The point is, we’ve got to get over the fear of this virus,” Gazelka, R-East Gull Lake, told reporters Friday morning. “Don’t micromanage every single thing that people have to do. People are tired of the mandates.”
Health Commissioner Jan Malcolm, Economic Commissioner Steve Grove, Human Rights Commissioner Rebecca Lucero and Public Safety Commissioner John Harrington joined Walz at the 2 p.m. press conference.