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Wear a mask, wash your hands, keep your distance

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We have reason for optimism! Under Governor Walz’s leadership we have started vaccinating those who are most at risk, COVID-19 cases are down, hospital capacity is steady, and our kids are heading back to the classroom. The sun is rising on the pandemic. 

As we cautiously adjust the dials in recognition of improving conditions, we will continue to monitor where we stand. Two months ago the pandemic quickly snowballed from manageable to out-of-control. We cannot allow that to happen again. 

There is much to be thankful for and hopeful about in the New Year, but we must remain on guard. Tens of thousands of Minnesotans have received their first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine. While progress is steady, the ramp up will take time, and most Minnesotans need to remain patient. But our friends, family, and neighbors most at risk are beginning to receive the protection they need. 

Even though we are seeing improvement, COVID-19 remains a threat to our communities and our daily lives: 

  • There is still too much “community spread” – too many people are transmitting the virus without knowing they’re infected. 
  • New cases, while down, remain at a level that indicates high-risk. 
  • Hospitalizations and deaths are still too high. 
  • We are also tracking a new strain of COVID-19 that is starting to pop up in other states and could be more contagious than the strain we’ve been fighting for the past year. 

Recognizing the progress made, Governor Walz has announced new measures that will go into effect on January 10, 2021 at 11:59pm. These measures loosen restrictions on important parts of daily life while urging Minnesotans to protect our progress.

How to Stay Safe in Social Settings

illustration: social gatherings

Social Gatherings

How to stay safe at social gatherings.

illustration: dining at restaurants

Food Safety & Dining at Restaurants

How to stay safe while visiting restaurants and bars.

illustration: shopping


How to stay safe while shopping at retail establishments.

Minnesota Stay Safe Status

Always follow these safety practices

icon facemask
Facial coverings are required according to Executive Order 20-81.
icon social distancing
Always stay six feet away from others.
icon house
Must telework if you can.
Last updated 1/6/2021 1:05 p.m.
Setting Guidance Overview
Social Settings
Two households may gather indoors, 10 people max.
Three households may gather outdoors, 15 people max.
Masks are strongly encouraged and social distancing must be maintained.
Critical Businesses
Open (must telework if you can, must have a COVID-19 preparedness plan by June 29, 2020)
Non-critical Businesses (non-customer facing)
Open (must telework if you can, must have COVID-19 preparedness plan)
Open (must have COVID-19 preparedness plan)
Restaurants and Bars
Changes begin January 10 at 11:59 p.m.
Bars and restaurants can open at 50% capacity, with a maximum of 150 people.
Indoor dining: 50% capacity, 150 people max.
Outdoor dining: 50% capacity, 150 people max.
Parties of no more than six people must remain six feet from other parties; bar seating is open to parties of two; reservations are required; and establishments must close between 10 p.m. and 4 a.m.
Personal services (salons, tattoos, barbershops)
Capacity: 6 feet of distance, max 50% -- see guidance for additional details
Appointments: Required
Review additional guidance.
Gyms, personal fitness and yoga studios, martial arts
Changes begin January 10 at 11:59 p.m.
Gym capacity remains capped at 25% but maximum capacity
increases to 150.

Machines and people should maintain 9 feet of distance.
Classes increase to 25 people, assuming distancing can be observed.
Everyone must be masked.
Indoor events and entertainment
Changes begin January 10 at 11:59 p.m.
Open at 25% capacity, no more than 150 people.
Masks required. No food service after 10 p.m.
Outdoor events and entertainment
Changes begin January 10 at 11:59 p.m.
Open at 25% capacity, no more than 250 people.
Social distancing is required.
Strong recommendation for masks, but not required.
School Buildings
All public and private schools will follow the Safe Learning Plan.
Child Care
Open per CDC guidance
Youth Programming
Open per MDH guidance and CDC guidance
Youth programs will continue to operate as long as the primary purpose is child care, not sports instruction or competition.
Organized Sports (Adult and Youth)
Changes begin January 10 at 11:59 p.m.
Practices open. Games resume January 14 with limited spectators according to appropriate venue capacity restrictions.
For indoor games, spectators are limited according to indoor venue guidance (25% capacity, up to 150). For outdoor games, limits follow outdoor entertainment guidance (25% capacity, up to 250).
Inter-region tournaments and out of state play are discouraged.
See COVID-19 Sports Practice Guidance for Youth and Adults.
Outdoor Recreation Activities and Facilities
Changes begin January 10 at 11:59 p.m.
Open per DNR's Outdoor Recreation Guidelines
Three households may gather outdoors, 15 people max.
Places of Worship, religious services, weddings, and funerals
Open with guidance.
Strong recommendation for virtual services ONLY.
Places of worship remain open at 50% capacity but without an overall maximum capacity.
Reception spaces for celebrations or private parties
Changes begin January 10 at 11:59 pm.
Wedding receptions and other private parties may resume with limits.
If food and drink are served then, they are limited to two households or 10 people indoors and 3 households or 15 people outdoors.
If there is no food or drink, they are covered by indoor event venue guidelines.
Campgrounds and charter boats
Changes begin January 10 at 11:59 p.m.
Open with guidance
Three households may gather outdoors, 15 people max.
Pools and swim parks
Changes begin January 10 at 11:59 p.m.
Open at 25% capacity.
See COVID-19 Public Pools under Executive Order 20-104.

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