Weddings, funerals, church, birthday parties: Are receptions allowed during COVID-19 pause in Minnesota?

New restrictions issued by Minnesota Governor Tim Walz on Wednesday will allow weddings and funeral ceremonies to go on but will restrict receptions.

In a new COVID-19 dial back executive order -- which includes a number of increased restrictions for bars, restaurants, and gyms -- weddings and funerals will be allowed to take place along with religious services.

However, the order forbids wedding receptions, private parties, celebrations, or other social gatherings in Minnesota starting the night of Friday, November 20 for at least four weeks. The order also forbids other gatherings like birthday parties and family reunions.

Ceremonies that do occur also need to follow the strict COVID-19 guidelines including:

  • Separate people from different households by at least six feet
  • For indoor settings, keep occupancy below 50 percent of normal capacity with a maximum of 250 individuals
  • Outdoor events also can't exceed 250 people
  • Places of worship and venues must develop "COVID-19 Preparedness Plans" with guidance from the Stay Safe Minnesota website

The state is also urging places of worship to move to virtual alternatives as much as possible.

The order is set to run from November 20, 2020 at 11:59 p.m. until December 18, 2020 at 11:59 p.m.