The governor announced the next phase in his “Stay Safe MN” plan this week. Phase 2, which will begin June 1, centers around restaurants, bars, and personal services like salons and barbershops. Starting June 1, restaurants and bars are allowed to open for outdoor dining only, with 6 feet between tables, no more than 50 people, and a party size of 4 total, or 6 if it’s a family. Reservations are required, staff must wear masks, and customers are strongly encouraged to wear them also, especially when interacting with workers.

Personal care businesses like salons, barbershops, and tattoo parlors are allowed to operate at 25% capacity. Masks are required for patrons and workers, and appointments are required – no walk-ins.

Campgrounds and charter boats will also be allowed to operate. Campsite configuration must be socially distant, and charter boats must also allow for social distancing unless the occupants are a family. Unfortunately, a start date of June 1 means that all these businesses, many of which depend on Memorial Day weekend as one of their biggest weekends of the year, will miss out on it.

I am extremely disappointed in the way in which this was done. Many of the requirements for different industries are arbitrary and contradictory. For example, On June 1, a restaurant patio will be able to host as many as 50 people, but an outdoor church service is limited to 10 at the same time. I hope Governor Walz will reconsider and make these new regulations more uniform and workable for our Greater Minnesota businesses and churches, because right now they just don’t work.

For more information on the new phase beginning June 1, and what the future looks like beyond that at this point, the governor has put together a table of information on his Stay Safe MN plan here.

This weekend is a time to reflect on the sacrifices by the many brave military men and women who gave their lives in defense of our country and our freedoms. I am so grateful for the freedoms we have here, and for the soldiers, sailors, and airmen who sacrificed everything to defend them.

It’s an honor and privilege to work for you at the Capitol. Don’t hesitate to contact my office at any time this session to share your thoughts, concerns or ideas. I am here to serve you!

Deb Kiel