Minnesota bar, restaurant, brewery associations: Follow safety guidelines - our survival depends on it

Minnesota’s leading hospitality organizations issed an open letter to their members and the public Wednesday, urging them to adhere to COVID-19 safety guidelines.

In the letter, the Minnesota Licensed Beverage Association, Hospitality Minnesota and the Minnesota Craft Brewers Association wrote that "bars, restaurants, and breweries have been given specific guidelines to follow. We strongly urge every hospitality establishment–every single one–to follow these guidelines."

The key requirements are: 

  • Have adopted and implemented a COVID-19 Preparedness Plan
  • Ensure a minimum of 6 feet of distance between tables
  • No standing or congregating – people must be seated at tables or the bar
  • Limit indoor occupant capacity to no more than 50% up to 250 persons
  • Do not exceed 250 persons in outdoor spaces
  • Limit table service to 4 persons, or 6 if part of one family unit; 2 if at the bar
  • Require reservations
  • Require workers to wear masks at all times and strongly encourage customers to wear masks when not eating or drinking, especially indoors

“After bars and restaurants have been closed by executive order for many months, to now working with 50% indoor capacity, one of the very worst things that can happen to our industry is to go backwards. Industry partners are collaborating to advocate that both customers and business leaders work together to stay focused on helping the industry. And that means following the Executive Orders so we can, as soon as possible, re-open at 100% capacity,” Tony Chesak, executive director of the Minnesota Licensed Beverage Association, said in the release.

The group wrote that "there is a shared responsibility that we all have to keep each other safe at social gatherings, an especially important consideration for the upcoming holiday weekend where we know friends and families will want to be together at bars and restaurants." 

"Any deviance from the rules – even by a slim minority of individuals – can threaten the future of our favorite local businesses,” added Lauren Bennett McGinty, executive director of the Minnesota Craft Brewers Guild.  

"Many hospitality establishments will not survive another closure," the letter continues, "so it’s in everyone’s best interest to support their survival and do their part." 

The group is also reminding the public that maintaing a physical distance of of six feet and wearing masks in common areas is encouraged and appreciated and will have the greatest impact on slowing the spread of the virus.

"Let’s do this together and turn the dial of re-opening forward–and not back. Our industry survival depends on it," they wrote.

The full guidelines can be found on the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development (DEED) website.