By WCCO-TV Staff

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – The University of Minnesota announced on Friday morning a full return to all of its campuses for the fall 2021 semester.

The university has been operating in a hybrid model, with both online and in-person classes for the 2020-2021 school year.

“Given projections on the number of Minnesotans who will be vaccinated, and relying on continued guidance from our public health colleagues, we are increasingly reassured that we can bring students, faculty and staff back to our campuses while effectively minimizing the risk to our community,” said Joan Gabel, University of Minnesota’s President. She said the announcement will allow time for faculty and staff to plan their fall courses.

The university will continue to provide access to COVID-19 testing for all of its students, faculty, and staff. Face masks and social distancing will still be required.

School officials say the campus in the fall will look like it was before the pandemic with classes and activities, while also following state COVID-19 guidance.

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“I want to reassure all members of our University community that we will continue to closely monitor the status of the pandemic, as well as vaccination rates, throughout this spring and summer,” Gabel said. Changes in the pandemic may could cause plans to shift, but Gabel said the decision is based on vaccination trends and public health compliance in local communities.

The announcement came on the same day that Gov. Tim Walz announced a significant roll-back in COVID-19 restrictions, increasing the occupancy limit for bars, restaurants, gyms, and entertainment venues. Starting on April 1, outdoor venues like Target Field can add an additional 25% of their capacity over 500, with a limit of 10,000 people.