Starting Jan. 19, everyone entering an establishment that serves food or drink in Minneapolis and St. Paul must show identification and proof of being fully vaccinated against COVID-19 or having a negative PCR or antigen test taken within three days.
This requirement will also become effective for any space of public accommodation while holding a ticketed event starting Jan. 26. The joint city venture come as an increasing number of large, Democrat-led cities across the country are adopting similar regulations.
“We have more tools to fight this pandemic today than ever before,” said St. Paul Mayor Melvin Carter. “This policy will help expand our ability to prevent the spread of COVID, while keeping our local economy moving forward.”
According to officials, athletes, performers and supporting staff competing or performing at any space of public accommodation subject to this regulation, are not subject to the requirement, provided that the facility follows all supplemental COVID-19 safety measures.
“The recent surge in cases is overwhelming our hospitals and the data is clear that more is needed to keep our city safe and open while we weather this highly contagious variant,” Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey said. “This is an important opportunity to continue supporting your favorite local businesses and restaurants, knowing fellow patrons are either vaccinated or have tested negative. We all have a role in helping curb this surge in cases and keeping our city moving forward.”
The proof of vaccination measure comes after the cities consulted with public health partners at Saint Paul-Ramsey County Public Health as COVID-19 cases in Ramsey and Hennepin Counties continue to climb, driven by the highly transmissible Delta and Omicron variants, according to reports.
“Minneapolis is only back to about half of seated diners from pre-pandemic levels after more than 1,700 businesses had to close in 2020,” said Director of Economic Policy and Development Erik Hansen. “We have to learn how to operate during the pandemic. This regulation helps to protect the health of business owners, workers and patrons alike while keeping restaurants and other places that serve food and beverages open throughout our city.”
Joint city officials are also asking the public to report violations by calling 311.