ST. PAUL (LEARFIELD)  —  State officials are stepping up COVID-19 compliance checks at Minnesota bars and restaurants starting today (Friday).

The Departments of Public Safety, Health, and Labor and Industry sent a letter to the state’s hospitality industry explaining the increased enforcement.

The letter says in part, “most establishments are following federal and state guidelines, but it makes it difficult for them to compete or to explain to their customers when other establishments are not in compliance.”

Investigators will be making sure workers wear masks, following social distance guidelines, and employee health screening procedures.

Officials will also be checking for 50-percent capacity.