As cases go down and vaccinations go up, we can begin to return to normal. Today, the first phase of our three-step plan to end statewide pandemic restrictions takes effect. Learn more: https://t.co/lT1WFf2Re7 pic.twitter.com/DkTSebMpEk
— Governor Tim Walz (@GovTimWalz) May 7, 2021
ROCHESTER, Minn. - Friday began the first phase of relaxed restrictions, with a focus on outdoor settings. Leading up to the ease, any outdoor dining area had a capacity limit of 75%.
The new guidance was announced using a three-step plan. Governor Tim Walz announced the first phase removes a limit for outdoor dining, events and other things. That includes ending the mask requirement as well, except at large venues with more than 500 people.
The owner of Rooster's Too! in Rochester, Ross Manahan, said his staff has been ready for this for a while now. "The whole aspect of everything opening up 100% outside and preparing to be able to stay open until normal close time is exciting for the customers and it's exciting for the staff, as well," he explained. "Because they're ready to be back to work."
The 11 o'clock closing time is also being eliminated, so bars and restaurants can stay open until normal close hours. Manahan said that will be an adjustment for some, but a good one to have.
The new updates go into effect beginning May 7th at noon. Phase two starts May 28th and that's when all social distancing and capacity limits come to an end. The final phase lifts the state's mask mandate by July 1st at the latest.