When Minneapolis bars and restaurants reopen for indoor service next week, they will still be prohibited from serving people at counters.

Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey signed an emergency regulation this summer that said food and alcohol must be served at a dining table, in hopes that it would "limit the risk of patrons congregating" around bars.

Frey's office said Friday that he will keep that restriction in place for at least the next two weeks while the city awaits data that will show whether holiday travel and gatherings contributed to an increase in the state's COVID-19 cases.

"Our communities and businesses have made extraordinary sacrifice, and this approach will best honor that sacrifice by making it more likely bars and restaurants can stay open while keeping customers and workers healthy," Frey said in a statement, adding: "While there's reason for cautious optimism in our fight to reach the other side of this pandemic, we are continuing to target the highest risk activities which hold an outsized importance in our state's largest and densest city."

Frey's office said the average monthly number of COVID-19 outbreaks in the city decreased after the regulation went into place. Businesses do have some leeway if they can convert their bar areas into seating that follows spacing restrictions.

LIZ NAVRATIL