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Walz expands capacity limits in restaurants, elsewhere

MINNEAPOLIS  — Gov. Tim Walz on Friday said he would relax several restrictions in place due to the coronavirus as cases continue to ebb, including raising the maximum occupancy in bars and restaurants and at private events and celebrations.

Tim Walz

Starting Saturday, top capacity at bars and restaurants and indoor entertainment venues will rise to 250 people, with up to 50 people allowed at private events and celebrations.

The governor’s order doesn’t change the limit on capacity by percentage. That means bars and restaurants still may not go above 50 percent of capacity. The limit for indoor entertainment venues stays at 25 percent.

Gyms and pools can also now have a maximum of 250 people, although percentage limits there also remain unchanged at 25 percent of capacity.

Walz called the changes “cautious, common sense adjustments to support” small businesses that he said were possible because of progress controlling COVID-19.

Minnesota has so far given almost 618,000 people a first shot of coronavirus vaccine. Almost 190,000 people have gotten both doses. The state on Friday reported a little over 1,000 new daily cases of the virus, and 19 deaths.