Minnesota's phased reopening plan during the pandemic will allow outdoor dining beginning Monday, June 1. Here are the answers to plenty of questions on how this will work.

First, the businesses that will be allowed to open for outdoor food and alcohol sales include restaurants, food courts, cafes, coffeehouses, bars, taverns, brewer taprooms, micro distiller cocktail rooms, farm wineries, craft wineries, cideries, and golf courses.

All establishments in the categories above will be allowed to open as long as they meet these requirements:

  • Adopt and implement a COVID-19 Preparedness Plan
  • Ensure a minimum of 6 feet of distance between tables
  • Limit on-premises capacity to no more than 50 persons
  • Limit table service to 4 persons, or 6 if part of one family unit
  • Require reservations in advance
  • Require workers to wear masks and strongly encourage masks be worn by customers

Now, how will this all play out for customers?  One question I had was what if you had to use the bathroom?  The good news is that customers will be permitted to use the bathroom at the business as long as social distancing guidelines are followed.  That means people should not congregate inside waiting to use the bathroom.

What would happen if you're eating outside and a storm hits?  Well, you will not be forced to stay outside, but you can't finish your meal inside either.

According to the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development, here is what would happen in this case:

In the event of inclement weather, customers may move indoors to package food and pay bills but must exit quickly – businesses should not allow customers to move indoors to continue their meal. While indoors, customers must follow social distancing rules and avoid congregating.

You can follow the link below to get the answers to other commonly asked questions regarding outdoor dining policies in Minnesota.


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