Gov. Tim Walz

(File Photo)

Governor Tim Walz extended Executive Order 20-99 through January 10, with several modifications in place that loosen restrictions on restaurants, gyms, and social gatherings starting Saturday, Dec. 19.

Walz announced the changes at a press conference on Wednesday, Dec. 16.

Social Gatherings

Governor Walz said that indoor social gatherings are still strongly discouraged, but allowed with up to two households and a maximum of ten people. He suggested limiting time together, wearing a mask, and social distancing.

“I’m asking you not to let down at this point, but I am also recognizing the desire to be with your family during the Hanukkah celebration, Christmas, and New Year is strong,” he said. 

Outdoor social gatherings are allowed with up to three households and a maximum of 15 people. 

Restaurants and Bars

Indoor service at bars, restaurants, and breweries will remain closed until January 11. These establishments may open for outdoor service at 50 percent capacity with a maximum of 100 people. 

Gyms, Fitness Studios, and Sports

Gyms can open for individual workouts at 25 percent capacity, or a maximum of 100 people. Members must be masked and keep a distance of 12 feet. Classes are allowed to resume on January 4. 

Youth and adult sports can also begin practice on January 4. 

In-Person Learning for Youngest Students

Governor Walz said that starting January 18, all elementary schools in Minnesota will have the option to choose in-person learning as long as they implement certain mitigation strategies. 

He said data shows that younger children are less susceptible to serious complications from COVID-19, and that schools have learned how to reduce the spread of the disease. 

Financial Support

Wednesday, the governor also announced he signed into law $216 million in direct support to small businesses and workers affected by the pandemic. 

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