Indoor service at bars and restaurants, outdoor movies and concerts, swimming pools open — items in the Walz administration’s “next phase” for re-opening Minnesota. But Employment and Economic Development Commissioner Steve Grove stresses that all depends on how the COVID pandemic plays out in the state:
“No timing on this, but I know the governor wants to move as quick as we can, as it relates to these stages, so long as public health guidance is met and that we’re being careful and doing this in a safe way. And we’re gonna look at that data and make the right science-based decisions for Minnesota.”
Grove says further in the future for re-opening: fitness centers and gyms. Governor Walz has repeatedly said the last to re-open will probably be large entertainment venues like sports stadiums and concert halls.
Grove won’t commit to how soon, but says in the next phase, outdoor entertainment venues will begin to open:
“Movies in the park and concerts and some of those great things about summer will come in that phase. Again, six feet of distance, 25 percent capacity. We’ll top that at 250 (people), just given the need to ensure that gathering sizes remain small and socially-distanced, and mask requirements there too.”
Grove says indoor service could be allowed at restaurants and bars with reduced capacity and social distancing. And he says salons, barbershops, tatoo parlors would be allowed to increase from 25 up to 50 percent capacity.
Grove says further down the road, gyms and fitness centers could re-open at 50 percent capacity:
“Fitness center is a more risky environment, given the exertion, the heavy breathing, the sweat and things like that. So gyms will come in that next phase. It’ll be indoors and outdoors of course, six feet of distance, caps at 50 percent (occupancy), masks required unless you’re strenuously exercising.”
Grove says bowling alleys and movie theaters could also possibly re-open with restrictions.