MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Calling it “cautious, common sense adjustments”, Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz announced on Friday a further loosening of restrictions on businesses that include increased indoor capacity limits. Restaurants will also be able to stay open until 11 p.m.

Walz signed the executive order Friday. It is expected to be approved and will take effect Saturday at noon.

“Our small businesses have made enormous sacrifices for the health of their employees and communities,” Walz said. “Today, we can make these cautious, common sense adjustments to support them because of the progress we have made controlling the spread of COVID-19 and getting the most at-risk Minnesotans vaccinated.”

The adjustment to COVID-19 mitigation measures include:

– Increasing the “not to exceed” capacity in restaurants to 250, while leaving the maximum capacity at 50 percent
– Increasing indoor entertainment “not to exceed” capacity to 250, while leaving the maximum capacity at 25 percent
– Increasing private events and celebrations “not to exceed” capacity to 50, while leaving the maximum capacity at 25
– Increasing gym and pool “not to exceed” capacity to 250, while leaving maximum capacity at 25 percent, and reducing distancing requirement to 6 feet.
– Allowing restaurants to stay open until 11 p.m.

Senate Majority Leader argued that the businesses do not have enough time to plan or prepare for changes. “Once again Governor Walz refused to work with businesses or the legislature to find a way forward,” he said. “Continuing to go it alone with emergency powers and universal control over the dials is unwise. It leaves Minnesotans without clear expectations for future changes affecting their livelihoods and ability to support their families.”