Skip to main content

People in Minneapolis and St. Paul now have to show proof of vaccination or a negative COVID test to dine out. 

The mayors of the Twin Cities last week announced the new policy, which went into effect on Wednesday, Jan. 19. (The policy goes into effect for ticketed events on Jan. 26.)

It's the latest measure being taken to try to slow the spread of the virus, with mayors Melvin Carter and Jacob Frey having reinstated a public mask mandate earlier this month. But omicron has proven to be more transmissible and with a potentially shorter incubation period than prior COVID strains, prompting more public health mandates.

Related: Vaccinated can spread omicron, so why are Minneapolis and St. Paul requiring diners show vax proof?

The new protocols apply to restaurants and any other indoor establishments where food or drink is served. That includes places like bars, breweries, coffee shops, movie theaters, sports stadiums, entertainment venues, bowling alleys, and wedding venues. (It doesn't include schools, hospitals, churches or soup kitchens.)

What this means for you

If you plan to go anywhere that serves food or alcohol in Minneapolis or St. Paul, be prepared to show you're vaccinated or have recently tested negative for COVID-19. 

Those under 5, who are not yet eligible for the vaccine, do not have to show proof of vaccination nor a negative COVID test. 

To prove you're vaccinated, you can show your official vaccine card, a photo of it, a copy of it or a third-party phone app. In St. Paul, you'll have to show your ID with your proof of vaccination if you're 18 or older. 

Sign up: Subscribe to our BREAKING NEWS newsletters

For tests, you must show a negative PCR or antigen test taken by a medical professional within the past 72 hours. Rapid at-home tests aren't accepted. 

Businesses will be responsible for enforcing the mandate, and the cities say they'll follow up on complaints about businesses that are not following protocols.

It's estimated that only about one-third of restaurants in St. Paul are subject to the mandate because it can only enforce rules for businesses it has licensing power over.

Eateries that don't serve alcohol in St. Paul are licensed by the Minnesota Department of Health, but St. Paul does license those that sell alcohol, so they are subject to the mandate. In Minneapolis, the city licenses restaurants, so all are subject to the mandate.

St. Paul's mandate is set to expire in 40 days, but the mayor could extend it. In Minneapolis, there's no set date for when it will expire but Frey said the city will monitor the situation and announce updates when needed.

Next Up

Screen Shot 2022-05-24 at 5.21.04 PM

Ex-South St. Paul coach dies by suicide 2 days before sentencing

Matthew McCollister was to be sentenced for fraud in federal court on Wednesday.


Minnesota 'glampground' named one of 10 best in U.S.

In Nevis, Minnesota, campers can stay in a refurbished 1905 train car.

Screen Shot 2022-01-28 at 9.04.12 AM

Two men charged over terrifying armed robbery at Newport apartment

They shot the woman who lives in the apartment in the abdomen, and put a gun to a man's head.

Minneapolis police

Minneapolis 2-year-old identified in suspicious death case

The cause of death has not yet been revealed due to an ongoing investigation.

Arianna Vos

Victim of wrong-way driver crash ID'd as Hutchinson 19-year-old

Three women, ages 19, 20 and 20, were in the vehicle struck by a wrong-way driver early Sunday morning.

Julissa Thaler

Eli Hart killing: Police investigating multiple crime scenes

An announcement Tuesday confirmed potential crime scenes in Mound and Minnetrista.

SEIU Healthcare Minnesota strike.

Twin Cities mental health workers gather for 1-day strike

More than 400 mental health workers are participating in the unionized strike on Tuesday.

Bloomington Fire

HAZMAT team at Bloomington hotel following chemical spill in pool

The fire department said two hotel employees are being evaluated by paramedics.

Screen Shot 2022-03-24 at 9.21.32 AM

Big Brothers Big Sisters Twin Cities gets $6M of Mackenzie Scott donation

The donation is the largest the organization has ever seen from a single individual.

Hennepin Avenue S.

Minneapolis accused of backtracking on 24/7 bus lanes for Hennepin Ave.

The Minneapolis City Council is set to vote on Thursday.

Pexels - face mask covid holding

Duluth brings back masking in city buildings amid COVID surge

Duluth, in one of the state's current COVID hotspots, has brought back a mask requirement in city buildings.


dual citizen brewing

St. Paul brewery to require proof of vaccination or negative COVID test

Staff will also be required to wear masks and test negative for COVID.

covid vaccine card

Teachers, staff in St. Paul required to get COVID vaccine or weekly testing

It's believed St. Paul is the third district in Minnesota to require vaccines or weekly testing for teachers and staff.

town hall brewery

Town Hall Brewery in Minneapolis closes temporarily

The owner cites the omicron variant and impending vaccine/testing requirements in Minneapolis.

University of minnesota sign

U of M will now require proof that employees have been vaccinated for COVID

Previously, only students were required to be vaccinated.

movie theater

MN movie theater to require vaccines for some showings

Moviegoers will have to show proof they've been vaccinated.

covid vaccine card

Ellison, FBI warn against buying, selling fake COVID vaccination cards

These vaccination cards are currently the only real "proof" one has that they got the COVID-19 vaccine.