MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Live music will now be allowed inside Minnesota bars and restaurants large enough to accommodate social distancing, but dancing and karaoke will still be off the table.
That’s according to updated guidelines released Thursday by the Minnesota Department of Health, which also boosted the occupancy for bars and restaurants and laid out more COVID-19 safety protocols.
As for live entertainment, it will now be allowed inside venues as long as social distancing can be maintained between performers and the audience, which must be seated at least 12 feet away from the stage area.
The only entertainers allowed to perform will be onces specifically designated by the establishment, the guidelines say. This means no karaoke or open mic nights.
Expect to see tables on the dance floor. Dancing won’t be allowed if the establishment is still serving food or drinks. Additionally, the guidelines say all indoor guests must be seated.
Still, music-lovers will be able to see more people inside venues, as the new guidelines boosted indoor occupancy to 50%, with a maximum of 250 individuals. Maximum outdoor seating was also increased to 250 people.
At bars, tables will be able to accommodate parties up to four people. In dining rooms, parties as big as 10 will be able to be seated together.
The updated guidelines also laid out several new protocols for restaurant owners and managers to follow. These include having guests box their own leftovers and scheduling workers in crews so as to limit spread among employees should a COVID-19 outbreak occur.
The full guidelines can be read here.
While these new guidelines will allow bars and restaurants to serve more customers as the warm weather season comes to a close, the industry is still suffering immensely from the pandemic. Since the outbreak began in March, several Twin Cities restaurants, including high-end establishments, have closed. Some notables include The Butcher and the Boar, Bardo, and In Bloom.