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St Paul (KROC AM News) - Thousands of Minnesota businesses will be locking their doors at midnight as the state’s latest COVID-19 restrictions kick in.

Governor Tim Walz

Gov. Tim Walz has ordered bars and restaurants to switch to take-out/delivery service only. His four-week “pause” will also affect social activities, sports, and fitness establishments.

He is also prohibiting in-person social gatherings with individuals outside the immediate household.

Retail businesses, salons, and places of worship may continue to operate with proper precautions in place. Childcare also remains open.

When the governor announced the new restrictions Wednesday, he included this statement:

“The scientific research and public health data indicate that the virus is spread most in places where people gather for long periods of time, especially when masks are not consistently worn. For instance, a quick stop at a retail store with a mask and social distancing appears to be lower risk than a gathering of friends for dinner where guests are likely to be seated closer together and unmasked while eating or drinking—whether it’s at a restaurant or in their own home.

Beginning Friday, November 20, at 11:59pm and lasting until Friday, December 18, in-person social gatherings with individuals outside your household are prohibited; bars and restaurants are dialed back to take-out and delivery service only; gyms, fitness studios, entertainment venues, event spaces, and similar establishments will need to close; and adult and youth sports are paused. Retail businesses, salons, and places of worship may continue to operate with proper precautions in place. Childcare remains open. Schools will continue to operate under the Safe Learning Plan, which shifts between in-person, distance, and hybrid learning depending on the local conditions of the virus. All other current restrictions also remain in effect.”

Here is the governor's official order.

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