“We’re going to have a great summer.” So says Governor Tim Walz today as he announced his three-step plan for ending COVID-related restrictions in the state.

“We’re going to ramp up, step up and put our foot down on the gas on the vaccinations, we end the covid statewide restrictions by May 28th, and we’ll drop the state mask mandate by July 1st, or if we can hit 70% vaccinations.”

“So far, more than two million Minnesotans have received the full series of COVID shots. State Republicans are still calling on Walz to end his COVID-related emergency powers.”

As the governor announced his three-part plan, he had this message for Minnesotans:

“We’ve asked much of you, we’ve followed the science, we tried to strike a proper balance, we have tried the best to get this right with the intention of saving lives, preserving hospital capacity, and striking the proper balance to understand how incredibly challenging it’s been.”

Walz says outdoor events will be the first to see the end of restrictions.

“No capacity or distancing outside for outdoor events. No mask requirements for outdoor venues smaller than 500. Meaning if you’re outside for a Twins game or a Saints game, you’ll still be wearing a mask, until we hit that 70 percent, or until July 1st.”

Walz says starting tomorrow indoor restrictions will be altered.

“Restaurants there is no occupancy limits outside or distancing requirements, indoor table size will increase to 10 and the mandatory closing times will end tomorrow at noon.”

Health Commissioner Jan Malcolm says there are still concerns in the form of new strains of COVID-19

“The vaccines have been protective against the major strains that have been circulating. The more this virus continues to exist and spread, the more it has a chance to throw of new mutations on the virus that will continue to pose a risk.”

Economic Development Commissioner Steve Grove, in step with the Governor, tied vaccination to economic progress.

“More Minnesotans who are vaccinated, the stronger our collective consumer confidence is. The more people want to get out and take jobs that are open. The more people are going to want to fill restaurants and concert venues and sports venues all the things  we love. Quite simply vaccines equal confidence and confidence equal economic growth.”