Guidance for Reopening the Hospitality Industry

May 13, 2021 Governor Walz announced the end of Minnesota’s statewide face covering requirement. The Department of Health is reviewing relevant guidance documents and will provide updates in the coming days. Learn more here.

Beginning at Noon, Friday, May 7, 2021Executive Order 21-21 lays out the pathway to full reopening of Minnesota businesses. Updated guidance documents have been posted to the Stay Safe MN web site, including:



* Some variability remains in the capacity for indoor event venues until May 28. If you are unsure of your venue's capacity, use the Stay Safe MN capacity calculator to determine limits.

Executive Order 21-11 will begin Monday, March 15, 2021, at 12 p.m. (noon) and does not have an end date.


Effective March 31, 2021, at 11:59 p.m., larger venues, restaurants, and pools will be able to expand their occupancy per the Stay Safe Guidance. Please refer to your industry’s guidance document for specific details for your business.

Please note: changes are highlighted in bold.

Restaurants and Bar Capacity Increased

Restaurants, cafes, coffeehouses, bars, taverns, brewer taprooms, micro distiller cocktail rooms, farm wineries, craft wineries, cideries, golf courses and clubs, dining clubs, and other places of Public Accommodation that offer food and beverages can offer food for indoor and outdoor onsite consumption, within the following parameters: 

Effective March 15, 2021, at 12 p.m.:

  • Indoor capacity is limited to no more than 75% of established capacity, up to a maximum of 250 patrons.

  • Outdoor capacity is limited to the number of patrons for whom social distancing of 6 feet can be maintained between parties at different tables, not to exceed 250 people.

  • Social distancing of 6 feet must be maintained between parties.

  • Onsite dining hours are between 4 a.m. and 11 p.m. Take-out and delivery may occur after 11 p.m. 

  • Table size must be limited to no more than six people. A party of four may be seated together at a bar or counter.

  • Patrons are required to wear masks indoors, except when eating or drinking.

  • Patrons must be seated in all areas, except for limited games outlined in the COVID-19 Preparedness Plan Requirements for Restaurants and Bars

  • Karaoke is allowed. Performers must wear face coverings, and they must be separated from spectators by at least 12 feet. Please refer to the Music Activities and Performances During COVID-19 document for additional information.

  • Private parties, events, receptions, or other gatherings in private, separate spaces (ballroom or other private room) are allowed if the event adheres to the requirements applicable to Guidance for Entertainment and Meeting Venues, including lower percentage capacity limits and outdoor face covering requirements.


As of March 31, 2021, at 11:59 p.m., some larger establishments may increase patron count per the Stay Safe Guidance for Entertainment and Meeting Venues.  

Events, Celebrations and Parties

Effective March 15, 2021, at 12 p.m.:


Increased Capacity for Pools 

Effective March 15, 2021, at 12 p.m.:

  • Pools and spa pools may be open at 50% of established capacity with a maximum of 250 patrons.

  • Patrons must maintain 6 feet of social distancing.

  • Group fitness class size in pools is limited to 25 indoors, and 50 outdoors.

  • Two swimmers per lane are allowed for recreational lap swimming.

  • More than one swimmer per lane may be allowed for competitive swim practice if a facility’s COVID-19 Preparedness Plan includes a diagram of proposed lane configurations and a description of how social distancing requirements will be met.

  • Saunas remain closed.

As of March 31, 2021, at 11:59 p.m., some larger pool facilities may increase patron count, per the COVID-19 Preparedness Plan Guidance: Requirements for Public Pools.



January 7, 2021:

  • Guidance for Restaurant and Bars

    • Restaurants can open to 50% capacity with a maximum of 150 indoor and 150 outdoor, using 6ft social distancing; maximum party size of 6

    • Bars can open to 50% capacity with a maximum of 150 indoor and 150 outdoor, using 6ft social distancing; maximum party of 2 seated at the bar

    • Everyone must be seated at all times

    • Reservations are required

    • Establishments must be closed from 10pm-4am

    • The mask mandate remains in place for everyone

  • Guidance for Indoor Venues (Seated | Non-seated)

    • There are two separate guidance documents for both seated and non-seated indoor events (seated vs. non-seated). Event operators should read both of these documents very closely to ensure they fully understand their obligations.

      • “Large venue” capacity. Earlier today, we indicated that maximum capacity for “large venue” events is 750. This pertains only to seated events (see page 8 of the indoor seated events guidance) that have “self-contained spaces” which can each accommodate 150 people per space at 25%, with a maximum of 750 people within the property. This could be a movie theatre or a convention center, for example under certain conditions. 

  • Guidance for Pools, Including Water Parks

    • Pools, including Water Parks, are permitted to open to 25% capacity, with a maximum of 150 people

  • Guidance on Gyms, Studios and Fitness Centers

    • Fitness Centers are permitted to open to 25% capacity using social distancing of 9ft, with a maximum of 150 people overall and 25 people in a class