Minnesota's businesses reopen, again

People sit at tables in a restaurant.
Patrons enjoy the last evening at Searles on Fifth Ave in St. Cloud, Minn. before restrictions on indoor and outdoor dining took effect in November. Starting Monday, bars and restaurants can reopen with restrictions.
Paul Middlestaedt for MPR News

On Monday, many of Minnesota’s businesses were allowed to reopen with restrictions — again.

Gov. Tim Walz cited lower coronavirus test positivity rates than when the restrictions were imposed as the reason for the change. The state’s hospitals are under “less dire” strain, the governor said as he announced the looser restrictions Wednesday.

The new order, which took effect on Monday, allows bars and restaurants to operate at 50 percent capacity, with no more than six people to a table and no more than parties of two at the bar. Reservations are required and dine-in service must end by 10 p.m.

Entertainment venues like movie theaters, museums and bowling alleys can also reopen — after being closed since mid-November — at 25 percent capacity. Masks will be required, and any food service must end by 10 p.m.

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MPR News host Angela Davis had a conversation about how business owners and workers are feeling as they prepare for reopening. Plus, we have a look at the latest economic news with MPR News senior economic contributor Chris Farrell.


  • Liz Rammer is the president and CEO of Hospitality Minnesota, a business association for lodging, restaurants, resorts and campgrounds.

  • Michelle Mann is the owner and operator of Mann Theatres, a family-owned local movie theater chain with eight locations in Minnesota.

  • Chris Farrell is a senior economics contributor for MPR News.

Use the audio player above to listen to the program.

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