Minnesota relaxes COVID-19 restrictions on some businesses

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Starting Thursday, certain COVID-19 restrictions are being lifted statewide as a result of Gov. Tim Walz’s latest executive order.

Large venues can host crowds with some guidelines. Seated indoor events such as concerts may host up to 3,000 people. Seated outdoor events are limited to 10,000 attendees.

Non-seated indoor events will be allowed up to host 1,500 people. Social distancing and masks are required.

  • Restaurants and bars with sufficient normal occupant capacity may exceed 250 people per applicable percentage limits and guidance.
  • Party/table size must be limited to no more than six people.
  • Patrons are required to wear masks indoors, except when eating or drinking and must be seated in all areas, except for limited activities.
  • Karaoke is allowed with at least 12 feet between the singer and the patrons.
  • Private parties, events, receptions, or other gatherings in private, separate space are allowed up to 50% capacity, up to a maximum of 250 people.

Gyms, personal fitness and yoga studios, or martial arts spaces with sufficient normal occupant capacity may exceed 250 people per applicable limits and guidance.
Venues with occupant capacity greater than 500 may increase patron count as follows:

  • For seated outdoor venues: the venue may operate with an additional 25% of the occupant capacity above 500, with a maximum capacity not to exceed 10,000 for the entire venue (seated venues must have assigned seating, and patrons must remain seated).
  • For non-seated outdoor venues: the venue may operate with an additional 15% of the capacity above 500, with a maximum capacity not to exceed 10,000 for the entire venue.
  • The Venue Occupancy Calculator should be used to calculate reduced capacity of facilities/venues after April 1.

Reception spaces for celebrations or private parties with sufficient normal occupant capacity may exceed 250 people per applicable percentage limits and guidance for the venue.

The new rules will likely be welcomed by event planners whose businesses have been crushed by state COVID-19 regulations for the last year as couples either downsized or delayed weddings.

Pools and swim parks with sufficient normal occupant capacity may exceed 250 people per applicable percentage limits and guidance for the venue, as seen in the indoor and outdoor venue guidance.

The relaxed restrictions follow as more Minnesotans get COVID-19 vaccines. The state injected nearly 1.2 million doses in March. More than 80% of seniors, those most susceptible to dying from COVID-19, have at least one vaccine dose.

Starting on April 15th, the requirements to work from home for certain business sectors shifts from a requirement to a strong recommendation.

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