Walz announces big rollback of COVID-19 restrictions

Published 9:40 am Friday, March 12, 2021

MINNEAPOLIS  — Gov. Tim Walz on Friday announced he is lifting a number of coronavirus restrictions in one of the most significant rollbacks in

Minnesota since the pandemic began last year, citing rising vaccinations and declining COVID-19 cases.

“Our vaccine rollout is leading the nation, the most vulnerable Minnesotans are getting the shot, and it is becoming increasingly more safe to return to our daily lives,” Walz said in a statement. “The sun is shining brighter.”

Starting at noon on Monday, religious services will no longer have occupancy limits. And, all public venues will now be able to open at 50% capacity, with a limit of 10,000 for outdoor venues, allowing the Twins to welcome back fans for the baseball team’s home opener on Aril 8.

Bar and restaurant capacity goes up to 75% with a limit of 250 people and bar seating for parties of four. Capacity for gyms, fitness centers and pools increases to 50% while there will be no occupancy limits for hair salons and barbershops.

Social gathering limits increase to up to 50 people outdoors and 15 people indoors.

Walz cited falling cases and increased vaccinations statewide for the decision, Nearly 1.2 million Minnesotans and more than 70% of people 65 and older have been given at least one shot, officials said.

“I think the next three or four weeks will determine how this pandemic ends,” he said.