Walz Administration Plans for Next Steps to Re-open Minnesota

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(Learfield News Service/St. Paul, MN) Indoor service at bars and restaurants, outdoor movies and concerts, swimming pools open — items in the Walz administration’s “next phase” for re-opening Minnesota. But Employment and Economic Development Commissioner Steve Grove stresses that all depends on how the COVID pandemic plays out in the state. Grove says, “No timing on this, but I know the governor wants to move as quick as we can, as it relates to these stages, so long as public health guidance is met and that we’re being careful and doing this in a safe way. And we’re gonna look at that data and make the right science-based decisions for Minnesota.”

The hospitality industry is putting much pressure on the governor to allow indoor service at restaurants and bars. Industry leaders say many establishments are on the verge of permanently closing because they don’t have the option for outdoor tables, or can’t survive financially by operating that way.

Grove says further in the future for re-opening: fitness centers and gyms, but at 50 percent capacity. He says, “Fitness center is a more risky environment, given the exertion, the heavy breathing, the sweat and things like that. So gyms will come in that next phase. It’ll be indoors and outdoors of course, six feet of distance, caps at 50 percent [occupancy], masks required unless you’re strenuously exercising.” Grove says bowling alleys and movie theaters could also possibly re-open with restrictions.

Governor Walz has repeatedly said the last to re-open will probably be large entertainment venues like sports stadiums and concert halls.

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