Minnesota golf courses, marinas reopen under new Gov. Walz order

Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz is allowing some outdoor recreation, including golf courses, to reopen Saturday morning as the state battles the coronavirus outbreak.

Walz's executive order also allows outdoor golf driving ranges, bait shops, shooting ranges and marinas to reopen. All indoor facilities associated with outdoor recreational facilities must remain closed.

Campgrounds and dispersed camping, outdoor recreational equipment retail stores, recreational equipment rental, charter boats, launches, and guided fishing remain closed, Walz's office said.

The governor has scheduled a 2 p.m. Friday news conference in St. Paul.

Republicans have criticized Walz for being too slow in reopening the state's economy. Protesters have scheduled a "Liberate Minnesota" rally outside the governor's St. Paul residence at noon Friday, calling for Minnesota to reopen.


Minnesota stay-at-home order: What you're allowed to do, what's staying open

What does the order mean and what activities are Minnesotans still allowed to do?

President Donald Trump tweeted "LIBERATE MINNESOTA!" on Friday morning, shortly before the planned protest.  Trump's own administration has advocated similar social distancing guidelines to the ones Walz has imposed.

The Walz administration has been asking for input on what industries could safely reopen while keeping social distancing measures in place. The governor has imposed a stay-home order until May 4, which has kept thousands of businesses closed.

As of Friday, 111 Minnesotans had died from the coronavirus. Another 106 people are in intensive care.

Thursday, Walz joined the governors of Wisconsin, Michigan, Ohio, Indiana, Kentucky and Illinois in a pact to decide when to reopen the Midwest economy. The governors did not set a target date but named key factors, including additional testing capacity.