Democratic Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz will allow religious services to resume with restrictions, the governor announced Saturday.
The Minnesota governor’s new order allows for worship to resume at 25% capacity and with social distancing, “to proceed as safely as possible during the COVID-19 Peacetime Emergency,” local outlet Kare11 reported.
“I have had many meaningful conversations with faith leaders over the last few weeks,” Walz said in a statement, according to the publication. (RELATED: Trump Threatens To Override Governors If They Do Not Open Churches)
“From a personal and public health perspective, the decision around places of worship has been a challenging one since the beginning of the pandemic,” he added. “We know large gatherings of people raise the risk of spreading COVID-19. We also know worship is an essential part of many Minnesotans’ lives, including mine.”
Walz had previously announced that restaurants, bars, and certain small businesses would be allowed to open at 50% capacity on June 1, but this order did not afford the same relaxation of restrictions to churches and instead limited church serves to 10 people.
Minnesota Catholic and Lutheran churches responded to Walz’s order in a Wednesday letter in which