Minneapolis bar area ban to remain in place under state's eased dining restrictions

While indoor dining restrictions in Minnesota will be eased on Monday under the governor's new order, Minneapolis' ban on service in bar areas will remain in place, according to city officials.

During the summer, Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey signed a proclamation to close bar areas in response to a spike in COVID-19 outbreaks linked to restaurants and bars.

Frey announced Friday that he will not be removing the restriction to prevent the possibility of another surge in cases that could lead to closing the businesses again.

"Our communities and businesses have made extraordinary sacrifice, and this approach will best honor that sacrifice by making it more likely bars and restaurants can stay open while keeping customers and workers healthy," said Frey in a statement.

Frey plans to revisit his decision in two weeks after receiving updated COVID-19 data.

"We will continue monitoring key public health data, especially following a significant spike in travel around the holidays," said Frey in a statement. "While there’s reason for cautious optimism in our fight to reach the other side of this pandemic, we are continuing to target the highest risk activities which hold an outsized importance in our state’s largest and densest city."

Indoor dining has been prohibited statewide since mid-November due to a peak in COVID-19 cases. Starting Monday, bars and restaurants statewide can reopen under the following new restrictions:

  • Indoor dining at 50 percent capacity, 150 person maximum
  • 6 people per table, tables spaced 6 feet apart
  • Bar seating allowed, no more than 2 per party
  • Reservations required
  • Curfew in effect from 10 p.m. to 4 a.m.