MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz has ordered bars and restaurants to stop serving at 10 p.m. and is limiting attendance at weddings, funerals, and social gatherings under new restrictions aimed at slowing the accelerating spread of the coronavirus.
The new rules, which start taking effect Friday, are aimed at young adults, ages 18 to 35, who are often carriers of the virus without showing symptoms and are among the primary spreaders in the state.
The governor says Minnesota is approaching the worst stage of the pandemic, but acknowledged that the restrictions will make this a hard Thanksgiving for many families.
Beginning Friday, November 13 at 10:00 p.m., restrictions will apply to social gatherings, celebrations and receptions, and bars and restaurants, which are three of the most significant sources of COVID-19 outbreaks across the state.
Beginning Friday at 10:00 p.m.:
- There will be a 10-person limit for indoor and outdoor gatherings, and all social gatherings will be limited to members of three households or less.
- Restaurants and bars must be closed from 10:00 p.m. to 4:00 a.m. with a capacity cap of 150 patrons total, including both inside and outside settings, and table size will be limited to 10 people with strong guidance to keep it to no more than three households or less. Bar counter service will be closed for seating and service in all establishments besides those that only have counter service. In counter-service only establishments, patrons can line up (with masks) and then return to their table.
- Patrons at bars must be seated, and there are no bar games allowed such as darts and pool. If an establishment offers pull tabs, they must be offered in a socially distanced queue.
- Capacity limits for receptions related to celebrations and milestone events, including weddings, funerals, birthdays, reunions, anniversaries and private parties in venues will be limited to 50 total people starting November 27, and 25 total people starting December 11. Celebrations must end at 10:00 p.m. This does not apply to the ceremony itself, since data has not shown a connection between services and the recent increase in outbreaks.
- All current restrictions also remain in effect.
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