It's likely not what Minnesota restaurant owners wanted to hear, but at the least it's a step in the right direction for some.

Minnesota Governor Tim Walz announced today that bars and restaurants in the state can begin reopening with limited outdoor seating beginning on Monday, June 1st.

Governor Walz said:

Our restaurants and bars are an integral part of the social fabric of Minnesota, and it has been heartbreaking to see this pandemic wreak havoc on our hospitality industry. While the virus won’t yet allow for business as usual, let’s do what we do best after winter in Minnesota and head outside. Whether it’s a Jucy Lucy, a plate of tamales, or a walleye dinner, Minnesotans can support their local restaurant by enjoying a socially distanced meal outdoors.

Restaurants must maintain social distancing and seating no more than 50 patrons at a time. In addition to outdoor dining, restaurants and bars will be able to continue to offer takeout, curbside, and delivery services.

Minnesota bars and restaurants have been closed for in-person dining since March 17.

Minnesota Department of Health Commissioner Jan Malcolm added:

It’s important for all Minnesotans to remember that they have a big role to play in making this reopening process successful. By continuing to follow social distancing guidelines, wearing masks, washing hands, and staying home when sick, we can limit the spread of COVID-19 and protect our most vulnerable friends and family members.

The Governor also announced that salons and barbershops will be allowed to open June 1 at 25% occupancy.

At restaurants, bars, salons, and barber shops --  customers will be either strongly recommended or required to wear masks, make reservations, and adhere to social distancing requirements to keep themselves, other customers, and employees safe.

Pete Hanson is on 98.1 Minnesota's New Country weekday mornings from 5:30 to 10:00.

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