Hospitality leaders are urging Gov. Tim Walz to avoid “unfairly” singling them out ahead of a possible announcement of new restrictions on bars and restaurants.
The governor has dismissed rumors of a second statewide shelter-in-place order, but said during a Monday press conference that state leaders are looking at a more targeted approach.
“It’s not something that I want to do, but I think it’s one of the things we’re going to have to be surgically looking at and thinking about this. I think many of you can extrapolate and start thinking about this. Where are 18 and 35 year-olds congregating together? Where are they and what are the incidents of some of the social spread happening? It may make sense to us now to target those much more surgically, much more aggressively, than a statewide stay-at-home order,” said Walz.
His office then announced that he will be delivering an address at 2 p.m. Tuesday followed by a press conference.
“The state has repeatedly told us they do not intend to shut down restaurants and bars, and we have not been told any different today,” Liz Rammer, CEO of Hospitality Minnesota, said in a statement Monday night.
“We would hope that any targeted restrictions being contemplated would take into account that restaurants and bars are affiliated with only 2% of the cases, and not unfairly single out these businesses. Closing down these businesses would only serve to push more people to home gatherings where the data shows increased case spread,” she added.
Sweeney’s Saloon, located in St. Paul, said the governor’s announcement “looms heavy for us” in a statement posted to Facebook.
“This announcement could have devastating news for small businesses and bars/restaurants in particular. As we have no control over this decision and want this virus nightmare to be over as badly as anyone, guess we will just be waiting with bated breath and fingers crossed,” said the restaurant.
Minnesota experienced four consecutive days of record new COVID-19 cases last week.