St. Paul, MN (KROC-AM News) -  Some Minnesota bars and restaurants will be allowed to reopen on June 1st.

Governor Tim Walz today announced another easing of emergency pandemic restrictions under the new Stay Safe order that replaced the earlier Stay at Home order. At this point, only outdoor seating will be allowed at bars and restaurants with six feet of distancing maintained and a maximum capacity of 50 people. Businesses offering personal services will also be allowed to reopen but will be restricted to 25-percent capacity with 6-foot distancing. Reservations will be required for both types of businesses and all employees will need to wear face masks.

The number of diners gathered together will be limited to four non-family members and up to six members of the same family. customers will also be strongly urged to wear face masks. Hair salons, barbershops, and other businesses offering personal services will have to mandate that both customers and employees wear face masks.

State Department of Employment and Economic Development Commissioner Steve Grove recognized that many restaurants do not have outdoor dining spaces and he is encouraging local governments to be creative in working with the businesses to find spaces for the activity to occur. He says the Minnesota Department of Transportation is already exploring ways that public right of ways might be made available.

The State of Minnesota has posted a chart that lists allowed activities and the next phases for the lifting of restrictions on the COVID-19 Response webpage.

In announcing the steps, Walz indicated what happens in the future will be up to the virus, and our actions in practicing safe social distancing. He says the science is not perfect and the situation is fluid, so he is not willing to rule out the possibility of lifting restrictions now in place for the summer activities enjoyed by Minnesotans. He noted the impact of allowing the reopening of retail businesses at 50-percent capacity likely won't be known until around June 1st because of the lag that exists between the time people get infected and the develop symptoms and then get tested.

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