Food, drinking establishments face temporary COVID restrictions in Minneapolis, St. Paul

Vaccine proof in restaurants
Vaccine proof in restaurants(Source: Jernej Furman / CC BY 2.0 via MGN)
Published: Jan. 12, 2022 at 2:19 PM CST
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DULUTH, MN. (KBJR) - MINNEAPOLIS — Restaurants, bars and venues already hit hard by the COVID pandemic will be impacted again, as city leaders in Minneapolis and St. Paul have imposed temporary restrictions designed to protect both employees and customers from the virus.

Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey and St. Paul Mayor Melvin Carter announced Wednesday that starting Jan. 19, businesses that serve food and beverages indoors will require patrons to show a vaccination card or a negative PCR test before they enter.

Carter said that the temporary policy will take effect Jan. 19 for non-ticketed events, while ticketed events or venues have until Jan. 26 to comply.

Restaurants, bars, coffee shops, theaters and concert halls, and sports arenas or facilities are among the venues that have to adhere to the new policy.

Both Frey and Minneapolis Director of Economic Policy and Development acknowledged the devastating impact COVID has had on the food and beverage industry, but said the new requirements are designed not to punish, but to help. Both insist more customers will come out to eat and drink if they feel other patrons are safe.

“As a community, we have to figure out how to adjust and live with the pandemic,” said Hansen

When asked about enforcement of the policy and sanctions on businesses that don’t comply, Hansen and Frey said the intent is not to go in with a heavy hand, but to encourage compliance. A warning letter would be the first step, followed by an investigation and perhaps a civil fine.

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