Mar 10, 2021 - News

Minnesota's more normal pandemic summer starts to take shape

Illustration of the sun, encircled with coronavirus protrusions that are fading from left to right.

Illustration: Brendan Lynch/Axios

Another "dial turn" announcement in the state's return to pre-pandemic life is coming as soon as this week.

What to expect: An update on capacity restrictions lTwins games at Target Field and other large events could come within "days," Gov. Tim Walz said Tuesday. The governor is also expected to address rules for restaurants and other businesses.

Driving the news: Faster than expected progress on vaccinations allowed the state to open up eligibility to 1.8 million more residents, including those with certain underlying conditions and frontline workers employed by meatpacking plants, grocery stores and restaurants.

  • Officials expect to open appointments to almost all adults in the next four to six weeks.

Yes, but: Concerns about cases involving a new variant prompted caution around reopening, said Walz. He declined to provide details on his plans Tuesday.

The backdrop: Businesses and legislative Republicans have been pushing the governor to announce a timeline for reopening.

  • "In business, you rely on a plan," GOP state Rep. Dave Baker, who works in the hospitality industry, said.
  • "We have no ability to hire summer help, we have no ability to start ordering supplies, to call our brides and grooms that are on hold."

What they're saying: Walz said he expects to give "certainty" to businesses, sports teams and residents planning events through the summer and fall.

  • "We certainly believe it is time to make some of these changes. ... You can start planning your June wedding is what we're going to be able to say."

Of note: Walz said he personally is hoping to get to use his tickets to a Green Day concert this summer.

Go deeper on the new vaccine eligibility groups here.

This story first appeared in the Axios Twin Cities newsletter, designed to help readers get smarter, faster on the most consequential news unfolding in their own backyard.


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