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Minneapolis lifts COVID restriction limiting bar service

The city kept the ban in place while statewide restrictions were loosened in January.
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Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey has repealed his emergency regulation limiting bar service at city venues.

Gov. Tim Walz allowed restaurants and bars to reopen in January after a shutdown that started in late November, but Minneapolis enacted its own restriction preventing food and drink being served in bar areas, instead stipulating they could only be served at a dining table.

This restriction has now been rescinded following a review by local public health officials, bringing Minneapolis' COVID-19 bar rules in line with the rest of the state.

It comes after COVID-19 cases have continued to decline in Minnesota, while the number of people getting vaccinated continues to rise.

"In keeping with guidance from Minneapolis Health Department, post-December holiday COVID-19 cases have remained at a level low enough to support loosening bar restrictions, resulting in the decision to rescind the emergency regulation," a statement from the city said.

Frey's office notes that Minneapolis' COVID positivity rate has remained below 5% for the past four weeks "and continues to move in the right direction."

It also notes there have been no new COVID-19 outbreaks linked to city bars or restaurants in the past week.

"Minneapolis continues to prove what we’re capable of when we work together. Our residents have made hard decisions about limiting activities with friends and loved ones to prioritize the health and safety of themselves and their neighbors,” said Frey

"We have committed to taking a data-informed approach to these decisions, and the data supports adopting the State of Minnesota’s framework for bar areas. While we make another small pivot towards normalcy, we remain committed to good public health practices, so that we keep heading in the right direction."

Minnesota bars are still limited to 50% indoor maximum capacity, but are now allowed to host up to 250 people following a loosening of restrictions by Gov. Walz last week.

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