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Minneapolis St. Paul News, Weather, Traffic, Sports | Minneapolis, Minnesota | kare11.com

Bars and restaurants prepare to reopen Monday

Under COVID restrictions, bars and restaurants, gyms and movies theaters can open with limited seating.

MINNEAPOLIS — After weeks of limits on service and capacity, many businesses are reopening their doors Monday. 

Restaurants and bars can operate at 50% capacity, with 150 people max. Parties up to six people are allowed to sit together with tables properly spaced. Parties of two can order at bars, but then are required to return to their tables. Service must stop by 10 p.m.

The governor and state health officials have said in the past that contact tracing revealed the hours of 9 p.m. to close were prime time for the spread of COVID-19 in places that serve alcohol.

Other indoor entertainment venues are also able to reopen, like bowling alleys, movie theaters, museums and other establishments. They'll be open at 25% capacity, with no more than 150 people inside a venue at once. 

Gyms, another business under statewide restrictions, will remain at 25% capacity, but the maximum number of people allowed inside increases to 150. Class sizes increase to 25 people if proper distancing can be enforced.

RELATED: Gov. Walz relaxes restrictions on bars, restaurants, entertainment venues

“The situation in Minnesota is undeniably better than it was last month,” Governor Walz said at a Wednesday press conference. “We have reasons to be optimistic, and Minnesotans’ sacrifice and commitment to their communities helped change the pandemic’s trajectory and saved lives. But we need to protect the progress we’ve made.”

While some business owners are eager waiting for the chance to legally reopen, others told KARE 11 that they plan to wait until COVID numbers drop. 

“I had one customer write me a note, saying, ‘thank you for staying closed, I just lost my mother to COVID,’” John Hayes, owner of ENKI Brewing said. “And, you know, you think about what that person is facing, and the challenges they have and the heartbreak they’re experiencing. Our decision to close for a couple more weeks, if that’s what it is, is really trivial in comparison to that.”