To address the surging omicron COVID that is hitting Minnesota, the mayors of Minneapolis and St. Paul on Wednesday issued new rules for those visiting bars and restaurants and other community venues.
To enter these establishments for indoor dining or drinking, one will need to show proof of COVID-19 vaccination or a negative test. The negative test has to be less than 72 hours.
Locations that provide takeout service only are exempt. Children under 2 are also exempt from these requirements as they cannot be tested for COVID-19.
The new rules take effect in both cities on Jan. 19 and Jan. 26 for ticketed events. It applies to indoor restaurant spaces, coffee shops, cafes, bars, sports venues, entertainment venues, and conventions.
One can show proof of their vaccination by presenting their physical vaccination card or a photo of the same. Minnesota’s Docket app is also acceptable.
Exceptions apply to athletes, performers and supporting staff (such as coaches, trainers, road crew) competing or performing at any space of public accommodation; K-12 and early childcare settings; hospitals; congregate care facilities or other residential or healthcare facilities; locations that provide takeout service only; food or drink as part of a religious practice; outdoor spaces; grocery stores, convenience stores and other establishments that primarily sell food and other articles for offsite use except in seated dining areas within those stores; and soup kitchens and other sites serving vulnerable populations (e.g., People Serving People).
St. Paul Mayor Melvin Carter and Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey made the announcement together during a virtual press conference.
“This is a critical next step to avoid closures, we want to stay open, and we need to stay safer,” said Mayor Frey.
“While this is a tool no one ever wants to have to use, amid these ongoing concerns that we hear from public health professionals and amid the staggering increases we’ve experienced” in COVID cases, “we must continue to leverage every tool we have available,” Carter said. “Only by working together can we all help prevent the spread of COVID, conquer this together and keep our economy moving forward together.”