ST. PAUL -- Phase III of Governor Tim Walz’s “Stay Safe MN” order to fight the spread of COVID-19 will arrive next week - and it includes some unexpected decisions.

A host of changes to the daily operations of businesses including restaurants, fitness centers and entertainment venues will take effect on Wednesday, June 10.

Phase III of the four-part reopening plan includes increasing outdoor social setting allowances to a maximum of 25 people. Indoor social guidelines will remain at 10 people or less.

Certain entertainment venues, such as bowling alleys, movie theaters, arcades and museums were expected to remain closed during Phase III. Surprisingly, these businesses will be allowed to reopen on June 10 at 25 percent capacity.

Outdoor events, such as movies in the park, concerts and sporting events will be allowed to resume at 25 percent capacity.

Other significant changes included in Phase III:

  • Restaurants and bars will be allowed to offer indoor dining with an occupancy limit of 50 percent capacity and proper social distancing. Diners must make reservations. Restaurant and bar employees will be required to wear personal protective equipment, and officials strongly urge customers to wear masks when possible.
  • Personal services, including hair and nail salons, barber shops and tattoo parlors will be allowed to operate at 50-percent capacity. Workers and customers alike will be required to wear protective masks.
  • Gyms and personal fitness centers will reopen with stringent capacity restrictions. All fitness centers must operate with a capacity limit of 25-percent. Officials urge gym-goers to wear masks and from the gym, and indoors when possible. Indoor classes will be allowed with proper social distancing enforced. Fitness centers are "strongly encouraged" to host classes outdoors.
  • Places of worship, weddings and funerals will see a jump to an occupancy rate of 50 percent.
  • Pools will be allowed to reopen at 50-percent capacity.

Officials reminded residents to wear masks in public places, adhere to proper social distancing guidelines of at least six feet apart and to stay home if sick or experiencing COVID-19 symptoms. Officials also stressed employers continue to allow employees to work from home if possible.

Walz reminded viewers that the phases have been in place to avoid overwhelming hospitals with patients as Minnesota still approaches a predicted peak in COVID-19 cases.

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