Residents of Minneapolis received a small reprieve from stringent COVID-19 restrictions Friday, but plenty of rules still remain in place.
“The city of Minneapolis has lifted its ban on bar counter seating just in time for the weekend,” Minnesota Public Radio News (MPR) reported. “Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey said the decision was based on public health data, showing a decrease in COVID-19 cases in the city.”
Gov. Tim Walz hinted Monday he would enact targeted restrictions to slow the spread of COVID-19 but didn’t describe the new rules planned.
Walz said the state health department had identified three major infection sources of spread: social gatherings, bars and restaurants.
It appears as if those restrictions will mostly affect bars and restaurants.
The Daily Caller reports, New York City could see up to half its restaurants and bars close permanently in the next six months because of the coronavirus pandemic, according to a new audit released Thursday from the New York State Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli.
“New York City’s bars and restaurants are the lifeblood of our neighborhoods. The industry is challenging under the best of circumstances and many eateries operate on tight margins. Now they face an unprecedented upheaval that may cause many establishments to close forever,” DiNapoli said, according to an official statement.
When Nashville Mayor John Cooper announced at a July 2 press conference that he was shutting down all the city’s bars for 14 days, reducing restaurant capacity from 75 percent to 50 percent, and temporarily closing event venues and entertainment venues, all due to “record” cases of COVID-19 traceable to restaurants and bars, he apparently knew that his own Metro Health Department said less than two dozen cases of COVID-19 could be traced to those establishments. But he failed to disclose that the “record” of bar and restaurant traceable cases to which he referred to was about one tenth of one percent of Davidson County’s 20,000 cases of COVID-19.
The coronavirus is shaking up America’s liquor laws.
At least 33 states and the District of Columbia are temporarily allowing cocktails to-go during the pandemic. Only two — Florida and Mississippi — allowed them on a limited basis before coronavirus struck, according to the Distilled Spirits Council of the United States.
Gov. Tim Walz announced Wednesday that bars and restaurants can now host up to 50 people for outdoor dining, but churches are still required to limit both indoor and outdoor services to 10 people.
The governor was asked during his Wednesday press briefing why restaurants can host 40 more people than churches for outdoor gatherings.