Retail Capacity Clarified At 100% Customer Capacity With COVID Safety Precautions; Restaurants & Bars To Stop In-Person Service At 10 P.M.; New Wedding & Event Restrictions
Today the Walz administration clarified in guidance documents that retailers subject to the 50 percent capacity limitation may now operate at 100 percent capacity under COVID safety precautions. This move recognizes the short time customers are in retail stores and how the industry has created safe shopping environments for customers and employees. This announcement is welcomed by the vast majority of retailers who recently told MnRA that absent a capacity increase, their viability was in question as the holidays approach.
MnRA extends a special thank you to Representatives Heather Edelson, Jeff Brand, Dave Lislegard, Kristin Robbins, and Dave Baker for their work with the administration on clarifying retail capacity. Also, thank you to the Minnesota Ready Coalition for its advocacy on changing retail capacity.
While retailers may be open at 100 percent, MnRA encourages all retailers to ensure occupancy levels allow for proper social distancing and continue to follow the State's retail industry guidance.
MnRA thanks the administration for making this change in advance of the important holiday shopping season.
Join retailers across the state for an open roundtable conversation via Zoom this Friday at 9:30 a.m. on safe practices and creative ideas for operating, selling and incentivizing customers around the holidays!
Click here to register: www.mnretail.org/roundtable.
In-Person Restaurant & Bar Service To Stop At 10:00 P.M. Beginning Friday, November 13
At a press conference today, Governor Walz announced several changes he said are designed to address rising COVID case numbers. In addition to more testing sites, the Governor is ordering restaurants across the to stop in-person service at 10:00 p.m. The Governor said that cases linked to restaurants and bars after 10:00 p.m. are large in number. In addition there are new limits on games such as pool and darts (no bar games that require standing are permitted), and bar/counter service is closed.
In addition, weddings and related events are dialed back to 50 people on November 27 and 25 people after December 11. Also private gatherings are limited to 10 people from no more than three households. Overall events currently at 250 capacity will be dialed back to 150.
Proposed Small Business Support
The Governor also proposed $10 million in additional funding for business relief, targeted toward restaurants and bars impacted by today’s changes. According to the Governor this will help 1,000 more businesses pay bills and pay workers.