What Are Minnesota’s Next Steps in Reopening?
On Wednesday, Governor Tim Walz announced "Phase II" of reopening Minnesota but what is the next step?
Currently, we are still in "Phase I" of the "Stay Safe Minnesota" order that replaced the expired "Stay Home Minnesota" on Monday. With that, social gatherings of 10 or less and drive-in gatherings are allowed per Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) guidelines. This also saw the reopening of non-essential retail stores with the restriction of 50% capacity. "Phase I" is set to go from May 18th-June 1st.
"Phase II" is set to begin on June 1st. This will see the reopening of restaurants and bars, but are not allowed to exceed 50 customers with reservations required. Mask will be required for all workers and are strongly recommended to be worn by customers when not eating or drinking. Personal services, which include salons, barbers, tattoo parlors, etc., will be allowed to reopen but will be restricted to a max of 25% capacity, reservations are required and mask must be work by both workers and customers. Campgrounds and charter boats will be open with guidance as well June 1st. Social setting guidelines will still be the same as "Phase I". Places of worship, religion services, weddings and funerals will still be caped at 10 people for indoor and outdoors.
While no date has been announced for "Phase III" and "Phase IV", MN.gov has already set a safety plan for when the time comes. During "Phase III" the following will be allowed:
- social gatherings will be increased to 20 people or less
- non-essential retail will see an increase in capacity
- restaurants/bars will be allowed to have indoor dining with capacity restrictions
- personal services will see an increase in capacity
- recreation/youth sports will be open with guidance
- outdoor rec activities/facilities open with guidance
- outdoor entertainment centers have the potential for phased openings with a capacity restriction
- places of worship, religion services, weddings and funerals will be increased to 20 for indoor, 100 outdoors and mask will be required to be work by workers and attendees
This leaves fitness facilities, entertainment facilities (movie theaters, bowling alleys, etc.) and large public gatherings such as concerts, sporting events and festivals. In "Phase IV", large public gatherings will still not be allowed, fitness centers will have the potential for phased openings with capacity restrictions, and entertainment facilities will be allowed to reopen with capacity restrictions.
While the future is uncertain, this information could change at anytime time. MN.gov is constantly updating the "Stay Safe MN" safety plan and you can visit their page anytime by clicking here.
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