Thursday, January 7, 2021 - 08:54pm Categories:

As announced earlier this week, Gov. Doug Burgum today signed an amended executive order officially increasing the capacity limits for restaurants, bars and gatherings.

Bars, restaurants and other food service establishments have been operating at up to 50 percent of their licensed seated capacity, not to exceed 150 patrons, since Nov. 16. The capacity limits were one of several mitigation measures announced Nov. 13 to slow the spread of COVID-19 as active cases and hospitalizations were peaking.

Under the amended executive order, these establishments will be able to start operating at 65 percent of licensed facility capacity, not to exceed 200 patrons, beginning 8 a.m. Friday, Jan. 8. Seating arrangements and tables must still allow for at least 6 feet of physical distance between individual parties; dance areas must be closed; service must be provided to seated patrons only; and masks must be worn by owners, managers and employees at all times, and by patrons except when eating or drinking.

Banquet, ballroom and event venues, which have been limited to 25 percent capacity since Nov. 16, will be able to start operating at 50 percent capacity as of 8 a.m. Friday, Jan. 8, not to exceed the ND Smart Restart capacity limits.

The amended order’s requirements will remain in effect through 8 a.m. Jan. 29.

A State Health Officer order requiring face coverings to be worn in indoor businesses and indoor public settings, as well as outdoor public settings where physical distancing isn’t possible, remains in effect until 12:01 a.m. Jan. 18.

In addition, Burgum today signed a separate executive order eliminating three prior executive orders that have fulfilled their stated objectives and are no longer necessary. The orders pertained to absentee and mail ballots in school district elections and renewals of motor vehicle registrations and driver’s licenses.

For more information on North Dakota’s COVID-19 response, visit or