(FOX 9) - Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz announced an end to his ban on indoor dining Wednesday along with other rollbacks of COVID-19-related restrictions starting Monday, Jan. 11, but the changes were overshadowed by rioters breaking into the U.S. Capitol during the vote to certify the 2020 Presidential Election.
Walz cancelled a news conference about the loosened restrictions because of security concerns around the State Capitol, where a few hundred Trump supporters had gathered without incident.
Walz said he made the changes due to the "sacrifices" made by Minnesotans to change the trajectory of the coronavirus. "We’ve asked much of you, Minnesota, and you’ve risen to the occasion," he said.
Here is what you may have missed.
Indoor dining resumes at bars and restaurants
Walz's new order allows indoor dining at 50 percent capacity starting Monday, with no more than 150 people in an establishment.
Six people can be seated at each table, with 6 feet of distance between tables. Bar seating will be allowed, with no more than two people per party.
Reservations are required, and a curfew will be in effect from 10 p.m. to 4 a.m.
Restaurant owners are now working to order food and alcohol to serve customers while trying to bring back staff they had to lay off during the shutdown.
Hospitality Minnesota and the Minnesota Licensed Beverage Association, which represent the bar and restaurant industry, said the changes were positive news after several weeks of much tougher restrictions.
Indoor entertainment venues to reopen in limited capacity
Walz is also allowing hundreds of indoor entertainment venues to reopen Monday at 25% capacity in each area of the venue. That includes:
- Movie theaters
- Performance venues
- Bowling alleys
Wedding receptions and private parties can restart under a capacity cap for each venue.
Spectators allowed at sporting events
Spectators will again be allowed at sporting events, though attendance will be capped. For outdoor events, 250 people will be allowed.
For indoor events, the venue's capacity limit will dictate attendance.
Youth and adult sports resumed practice on Monday. Games and competitions will resume on Jan. 14, with some spectators.
Walz says inter-region tournaments and out-of-state play are still discouraged at this time.
Last week, ahead of the sports restart, Minnesota Department of Health issued new guidelines requiring athletes and coaches to wear face coverings at all times with a few exceptions for certain sports such as swimming, wrestling and gymnastics.
Restrictions loosen for pools, gyms
The new order allows pools to reopen at 25% capacity.
Gyms must stay at 25% capacity, though the overall maximum is raised to 150 people.
Group fitness classes can have 25 people starting Monday, though they must stay 9 feet apart.
No overall maximum capacity for places of worship
Walz is ending his limit on the number of people allowed on places of worship, though they must remain under 50% capacity.