MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Gov. Tim Walz is easing restrictions in Minnesota.
Next month, up to 10,000 fans will be allowed at outdoor venues, like Target Field.READ MORE: Hallie Q. Brown Helps Vaccinate Rondo Neighborhood
On Monday, restaurants and bars can fill 75% of their seats, and social gatherings can include 15 to 50 guests without household limits.
For many businesses, though, these changes won’t have the impact they might appear to on the surface. Smaller restaurants like Nico’s Tacos in Minneapolis can only hold so many people while following social distancing rules. Alejandro Victoria, a co-owner of Nico’s, says increasing capacity means nothing for him because, given his limited space, he can’t add customers while also maintaining distancing.
“At seven-and-a-half people, you might as well be at 10,” Victoria said. “Restaurants are not always at 100% capacity.”
Gyms can boost to 50% capacity Monday. That gives Skybox in St. Louis Park the leeway to go from its restricted 12-person classes back to its pre-COVID 24-person classes. Drew Coleman is the owner of Skybox.READ MORE: CDC: Minnesota Has 4th Highest COVID Case Rate In U.S.
“We can’t be profitable at 25% capacity,” Coleman said. “At 50% capacity we can be.”
But Coleman says they’re not immediately taking full advantage of the dial back. Instead of doubling class sizes this week, they’re taking a more gradual approach.
“To go from a capacity of 12 to a capacity of 24, we just don’t want to do that overnight because we, you know, we want to make sure people feel safe and that people are safe,” Coleman said.
Even without dramatic changes this week for either Nico’s or Skybox, the business owners still feel the significance of loosening restrictions.
“It’s definitely the light at the end of the tunnel,” Victoria said. “We know that it’s no longer another shutdown. Instead it’s going in the positive direction.”MORE NEWS: COVID In Minnesota: 2,659 New Cases, 10 Deaths Reported; 7-Day Positivity Rate Rises To 6.6%
Capacity limits are also being removed on salons and religious services.