Minnesota Governor Tim Walz held a press conference, Wednesday, to announce a new set of business regulations designed to combat the spread of coronavirus.
Beginning June 1, resturants will be allowed to reopen to serve crowds of no more than 50 people, outdoors, provided that patrons and staff maintain “social distancing.” Meanwhile, gyms and theaters are to remain closed entirely and churches are only allowed to hold services for 10 people per the governor.
Walz himself admitted that his guidelines are “maddeningly complex,” per MinnPost, and made a number of confusing or controversial statements over the course of his hour-plus-long press conference— here are the top seven moments.
Restrictions Are The “Key” To Reopening The Economy
Walz apparently believes that his policies designed to limit the number of customers a business can serve are actually good for the economy. “These health guidelines are not an impediment to opening our economy, they’re the key to opening the economy,” he said.
When Do The New Guidelines Go Into Place?
Just moments after the last clip, Walz appeared to forget when his new orders go into effect. “So on June 4, we’re gonna enter phase two of our stay safe plan,” the governor said before somebody off camera appeared to correct him.
Haircuts Are Ok, Hair Dye Is Not
The Minnesota Department of Health Commissioner, Jan Malcolm, also spoke at Wednesday’s presser. She explained that while it might be ok for Minnesotans to get their hair cut, hair coloring is still off the table.
“We might suggest that appointments be carefully monitored for their length. It might be that a haircut’s a good idea and a hair coloring is not a good idea” she said.
Walz Contradicts His Prior Statement About White House Assistance
In late April, Walz said that the White House has provided adequate federal support for Minnesota amidst the COVID-19 pandemic. However on Wednesday, he appeared to contradict this position by suggesting that “somebody in the federal government” diverted a shipment of medical gowns to that was bound for Minnesota.
Walz Admits His Policy On Churches Is Less Than “Perfect”
Walz’s new order severely limits the size of religious gatherings. Just hours after the governor’s presser, the Catholic Church of Minnesota expressed its intent to violate this mandate. During the conference, a reporter also asked about this severe restriction, to which Walz responded: “I think there is a very strong sense of urgency to figure this out,” but ultimately concluded that “there is not a perfect answer.”
Minnesota Has No Control Over Tribal Reopening Of Casinos
Minnesota’s tribal governments began to reopen their casinos, Monday. Governor Walz says that the state has no power to prevent this.