May 6, 2021 - News

Minnesota set to end all COVID restrictions by July 1

Illustration of a loon wearing sunglasses.

Illustration: Brendan Lynch/Axios

Summer is on in Minnesota.

What's happening: All COVID-19 restrictions on business and gatherings will be gone by May 28, and the state's mask mandate will be gone by at least July 1, but probably earlier.

  • Gov. Tim Walz laid out a three-step timeline for getting the state back to normal, beginning Friday at noon.

Starting Friday: There are no more size limits on outdoor gatherings, and there will be no mask requirements for events with less than 500 people.

  • Mandated early closing times at bars and restaurants are gone. The party is on until 2am again.

May 28: All remaining capacity and distancing restrictions will be removed, including for indoor spaces.

  • Face coverings will still be required for indoor and outdoor events with more than 500 people.

July 1 or earlier: The statewide mask mandate will lapse by July 1, or when 70% of those 16+ are vaccinated.

  • Minnesota is currently 474,000 people away from meeting that threshold β€” and is on pace to do so around June 4.

Sports: Technically, the Twins could put 40,000 fans at Target Field for their next home game on May 14, but they will "incrementally increase" their attendance from the 10,000 cap they have now, the team said in a statement.

  • The Wild will be allowed to put about 5,000 fans in Xcel Energy Center β€” up from 3,000 β€” and will be allowed up to 20,000 fans if the team is still playing on May 28. The playoffs start in about 10 days.

Of note: Local governments and businesses can set their own rules around distancing and mask-wearing.

  • Minneapolis has its own mask mandate and Mayor Jacob Frey said in a statement that "if the data leading up to July 1 shows that some form of mask requirement will help save lives, then we will keep the requirement in place."
  • St. Paul Mayor Melvin Carter is planning to renew his mask order, which had expired, according to a spokesman. He will consult with local public health professionals before making a decision on lifting it.

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