Restaurants and Bars Can Open for Outdoor Dining Only

On June 1, Minnesota establishments must take reservations and implement a COVID-19 preparedness plan

Photo by Ashley Sullivan.

Gov. Walz released reopening guidelines for Minnesota restaurants on Wednesday, as promised. The new details, part of the state’s Stay Safe Plan’s phase II, pave the way for restaurants and bars to open in a limited capacity across the state on June 1.

See also: Minnesota’s Current COVID-19 Safety Guidance

If you do make plans to eat out at a restaurant, bring some sunscreen. Only outdoor dining will be allowed, and social distancing regulations will have further impact on the experience.

The main points of the section of detailed new Department of Employment and Economic Development (DEED) guidance for safely reopening pertaining to dining establishments:

  • Develop and implement a COVID-19 Preparedness Plan
  • Open for outdoor dining or curbside pickup/delivery only
  • Ensure at least 6 feet of distance with maximum on premises capacity to no more than 50 persons
  • Limit table service to 4 persons, or 6 if part of one family unit
  • Require reservations; do not allow walk-in customers
  • Require masks or face shields to be worn be workers and strongly recommend masks for all customers
  • Establish regular disinfection routine and train workers

For some restaurants with outdoor patios, decks, and rooftops, the path forward is clear. Spots that do not currently operate with outdoor seating are encouraged to create makeshift outdoor space in sidewalks and parking lots, says Steve Grove, DEED commissioner.