ST PAUL, Minn. — Governor Tim Walz announced that on June 1, bars and restaurants will be allowed to have limited outdoor seating, and barbershops and salons will be able to reopen with safety restrictions.
Indoor seating will not be allowed for restaurants, social distancing will be enforced between tables, and reservations will be required. Masks will be required for workers but optional for customers. The restaurants will need to restrict their capacity to 50 customers.
Barbershops, salons and tattoo parlors will be required to limit their capacity to 25% and enforce social distancing. Customers and workers will have to wear masks. Customers will need to make appointments.
Campgrounds and charter boats will be allowed to be used June 1.
All of these changes are part of what the state is calling "phase two" of its Stay Safe plan.
"It is going to get worse here because of the virus before it gets better," Walz said. "That is an absolute guarantee."
“If you are a business that can telework, you must telework,” Department of Employment and Economic Development Commissioner Steve Grove said.
Places of worship will be limited to 10 people indoors or outdoors. Grove cited a concern about choirs in places of worship.
"Singing is one of the worst things that you can do, even when you're socially distant from each other," he said, referencing coronavirus hotspots involving choirs.
Full guidelines for the phased reopening are available on the state's website.
Walz said that there is currently capacity to test up to 10,000 Minnesotans per day for COVID-19.
Minnesota Department of Health Commissioner Jan Malcolm expressed disappointment that more people are not seeking out tests.
Following the announcement, Hospitality Minnesota called the restaurant reopening plan a "disappointment."
"While it’s good for those restaurants that are able to offer outdoor seating, it will leave many behind around our state who cannot host patrons in an outdoor patio setting," Hospitality Minnesota spokesperson Ann Kirby McGill said in a statement. "As these businesses stare into the face (of) financial collapse, today’s announcement further delays the incoming revenue these small businesses need to survive. If these businesses are being asked to remain closed or mostly closed, then they need the State’s help with a targeted relief package that provides the support our businesses need to navigate this financial catastrophe."