In a press conference yesterday, Governor Tim Walz issued an order for Minnesotans to stay at home and extended the mandator closure of restaurants until May. While before, small gatherings were permitted, now, all Minnesotans are urged to stay home unless they need to retrieve essential supplies, including pharmacies, grocery stores, and liquor stores. The big question was whether restaurants who have chosen to continue to operate a take-away only business model would be permitted to continue to do so. In a helpful graphic released by the state, one of the line items of what would be permitted included mention of restaurants.
Walz original order for closure, issued on Monday March 16, stated a two week mandatory closure for all restaurants. That timeline has been extended to 5 p.m. May 1.
The hospitality industry has been devastated by the Coronavirus pandemic. The virus has proven to be particularly contagious and easily spread through groups of people. In an effort to flatten the curve, to ease impact on hospitals.
Minnesota restaurants, bars, and distilleries have struggled to find creative ways to operate during this difficult time, including giving food away, hosting fundraisers for staff, providing free meals to kids, or offering social distancing friendly take out. Most have been forced to lay off a majority of the staff, or close completely. Many distilleries have pivoted to producing sanitizer. While, bars without food service are basically out of luck.