MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — New restrictions to fight COVID-19 in Minnesota went into effect Friday night.

Earlier this week, Governor Tim Walz announced bars and restaurants would have to start shutting down their dine-in services every night at 10.

“It’s hard times right now,” said Kathy Gosiger, the general manager of Tom Reid’s Hockey City Pub in St. Paul. “We’re just trying to stay afloat until this is over.”

Bar service can no longer be offered either, and there’s a 50% capacity limit.

These rules are meant to target what health officials say is a significant source of spread: young people getting together socially.

Joe Swenson, a Tom Reid’s customer from St. Paul, says this is sure to hurt businesses, but he also understands why the late hours are being curtailed.

“As the night goes on, more drinks are had and people kind of let go of those [precautions],” Swenson said.

Gosiger says many of their customers don’t come in until after 10 p.m.

According to the Federal Reserve, foot traffic at bars and restaurants in Minnesota is down more than 30% when compared to this time last year. It has an interactive tool to track those statistics.

Halftime Rec is a bar away from the bustle of downtown St. Paul, so it relies heavily on its regulars.

“It’s going to suck for the nightlife, because we have a pretty good one,” said Kayla Krueger, a longtime employee. “We plan on pulling up some tables for table service against the bar.”

Bar counter service will still be allowed in places that don’t have a dining area.

David Schuman