ST. PAUL -- Minnesota has loosened restrictions on businesses like bars, restaurants, movie theaters. So what's next for the restrictions related to COVID-19?

Political insider Blois Olson says the governor is still closely monitoring any post-holiday spike in cases.

We do have a little bit of an uptick in COVID cases.  This is the holiday bump.  Governor Walz acknowledged that he's hoping it's just a bump and it continues to plateau or goes down.  I think that's the thing to watch, if that number rises rapidly we could be back to more restrictions in a week or two.

Olson says measurements on sports will also be closely watched as high school games resume later this week.

Competition starts Thursday. There was a lawsuit late Friday asking to remove the mask requirement for athletes in competition.  I would expect that to be one of the buzzed-about topics for the rest of the week.

Starting Monday bars and restaurants can be open to dine-in customers up to 50 percent capacity, but they must close by 10:00 p.m.

The eased restrictions return bars and restaurants about to where they were before Walz imposed a ``pause'' in response to soaring cases in November. They can resume indoor service at 50% capacity but with 10 p.m. curfews and social distancing. Movie theaters, bowling alleys and museums can reopen at 25% capacity. Most venues must limit the number of people inside to no more than 150.

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