MANKATO, Minn. (KEYC) - New state COVID-19 regulations go into effect Saturday.
Starting this weekend, restaurants are allowed to open for outdoor dining with limitations.
Under new guidelines, bars and restaurants are allowed to offer outdoor dining options at either 50 percent capacity or with no more than 100 people at a time. Customers also need to remain seated while eating.
“As much as we can to mitigate the risk to provide some of that economic activity while getting the most benefit on the safety and the health side of this,” Gov. Tim Walz said in his announcement on Wednesday.
Local restaurants are now adapting. With the weather getting colder, Pub 500 and The 507 are making plans to adjust.
Peter Whiteman, General Manager of Pub 500, said, “We encourage to bring your own blankets. We’ve got the fireplace going. We don’t have any heaters, but you’re welcome to bring your own. We’ve got lots of hot drinks, whatever keeps you warm.”
Isaiah Pitchford, General Manager of The 507, added, “The way I look at is that it’s a chance to give the customers what we want to give them, and if they want to come out they do and if not, then we just keep building the hype for when we can have them inside.”
Monday, the state legislature passed a COVID-19 relief package. The package totals to $216 million and provides aid to those without jobs, entertainment establishments, non-profits, gyms, restaurants and bars.