Loosened restrictions for businesses, social gatherings go into effect Monday
(FOX 9) - New adjustments to Minnesota's COVID-19 restrictions will go into effect at noon on Monday.
The loosened restrictions mean bars and restaurants can increase occupancy to 75%, with a limit of 250 people. Salons and barbers will no longer have an occupancy limit, but social distancing is required. Gyms, pools and entertainment venues can increase occupancy to 50%.
Social gatherings can have up to 50 people outdoors or 15 people indoors.
On April 15, Minnesota is also lifting the requirement that people who can work from home do so, which has been in effect since last spring.
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Bars and restaurants: Increasing allowable occupancy to 75%, up from 50%, with a limit of 250 people. The limits apply separately indoors and outdoors. Bar seating increases to parties of four. Yet parties must remain spaced 6 feet apart, meaning that few restaurants will be able to add more tables in their dining rooms. Patrons must weaer masks indoors, except when eating or drinking. Onsite dining hours are between 4 a.m.-11 p.m., and takeout and delivery may occur after 11 p.m.
Karaoke is allowed but discouraged. Performers must wear face coverings, and they must be separated from spectators by at least 12 feet. Participants can check the Music Activities and Performances During COVID-19 document for additional information.
The Minnesota Licensed Beverage Association, which represents bars, criticized the changes as "only helpful to a small handful of larger establishments." The 11 p.m. bar curfew remains.
Salons/barbers: Removing the occupancy limit, but social distancing required.
Gyms/fitness centers/pools: Increasing allowable occupancy to 50%, up from 25%. Outdoor classes can increase to 50 people.
Entertainment venues: Increasing allowable occupancy to 50%, up from 25%, both indoors and outdoors, with a limit of 250.
Social gatherings: Up to 50 people outdoors or 15 people for indoor gatherings, both without household limits.
Youth sports: Pod size increasing to 50 for outdoor activities.
Religious services: Remove occupancy limit, but social distancing required.
Celebrations: Follow venue guidance.
As summer nears, the state will adjust guidelines for large venues, including sports stadiums. Starting April 1, all venues can open at 50% capacity up to 250 people. Venues with normal occupant capacity over 500 can add additional guests.
- Seated outdoor venues can add an additional 25% of their capacity over 500, with a limit of 10,000 people.
- Non-seated outdoor venues can add an additional 15% of their capacity over 500, with a limit of 10,000 people.
- Seated indoor venues can add an additional 15% of their capacity over 500, with a limit of 3,000 people.
- Non-seated indoor venues can add an additional 10% of their capacity over 500, with a limit of 1,500 people.
With the increased capacity limits, several Minnesota sports teams will be able to have fans in the stands at home games once again.
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The Wild and Timberwolves will have up to 3,000 fans at their remaining home games. The Twins will be able to have up to 10,000 fans, in the stands for Opening Day at Target Field on April 8.