Major rollback of COVID-19 restrictions in effect Monday

Gov. Tim Walz announced today that due to the decrease in cases and the increase in vaccination, he is ready to dial back a number of COVID-19 mitigation measures.

“Minnesotans should continue to take simple steps to protect the progress we’ve made, but the data shows that we are beating COVID-19,” said Governor Walz.

“Our vaccine rollout is leading the nation, the most vulnerable Minnesotans are getting the shot, and it is becoming increasingly more safe to return to our daily lives. The sun is shining brighter.”

Unless otherwise noted, the adjustments are effective at noon on Monday, March 15. They include measures to:

  • Make it easier to safely gather with family:
    • Social gatherings: Up to 50 people outdoors or 15 people for indoor gatherings, both without household limits.
    • Youth sports: Pod size increasing to 50 for outdoor activities.
    • Religious services: Remove occupancy limit, but social distancing required.
    • Celebrations: Follow venue guidance.
  • Support small businesses:
    • Bars and restaurants: Increasing allowable occupancy to 75%, up from 50%, with a limit of 250 people. The limits apply separately indoors and outdoors. Bar seating increases to parties of 4.
    • Salons/barbers: Removing the occupancy limit, but social distancing required.
    • Gyms/fitness centers/pools: Increasing allowable occupancy to 50%, up from 25%. Outdoor classes can increase to 50 people.
    • Entertainment venues: Increasing allowable occupancy to 50%, up from 25%, both indoors and outdoors, with a limit of 250.
  • As summer nears, the state will adjust guidelines for large venues. All venues can open at 50% capacity up to 250 people. Venues with normal occupant capacity over 500 can add additional guests, effective April 1:
    • Seated outdoor venues can add an additional 25% of their capacity over 500, with a limit of 10,000 people.
    • Non-seated outdoor venues can add an additional 15% of their capacity over 500, with a limit of 10,000 people.
    • Seated indoor venues can add an additional 15% of their capacity over 500, with a limit of 3,000 people.
    • Non-seated indoor venues can add an additional 10% of their capacity over 500, with a limit of 1,500 people.

As more Minnesotans are vaccinated, work from home will no longer be required – but it will continue to be strongly recommended – beginning April 15. All employers should continue to accommodate employees who wish to work from home.


Larissa Donovan is the News Director for the stations of Paul Bunyan Broadcasting and has been, almost without interruption, since Election Day 2016. She covers events and issues in north central Minnesota, which include local government, crime, courts, education, environment and social issues. She studied communications at Bemidji State University and received her degree in 2018. Larissa, native to the great state of New York, grew up in Bemidji, and enjoys spending her spare time with her family and pet cat. She also loves Star Trek, punk rock music and the theater.


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