Last month, some bars and restaurants in Minnesota complained to the state that their competitors weren’t following all the state’s COVID-19 safety recommendations.
To find out if it was true, starting the weekend beginning Friday, Aug. 27, the Department of Health, Department of Public Safety, and Department of Labor and Industry began doing extra compliance checks on restaurants and bars.
Now some of the preliminary results are in. In southwestern Minnesota, the Alcohol and Gambling Enforcement Division quietly visited 97 bars and restaurants Mankato, St. Peter, Waseca, New Ulm and Faribault. Of those 97 businesses, 13 were found to be closed.
Seven businesses were in violation of not having signs stating masks were required, and 16 bars and restaurants were in violation for not requiring reservations.
Two businesses were found in violation of not having their employees wearing masks, while eight were in violation of having customers not wearing masks. No bars or restaurants had seating at above 50 percent capacity, but six had reported problems with enforcing social distancing.
Penalties for bars and restaurants not in compliance include fines, loss of liquor license, or closure.