Skip to main content

Diners in Minneapolis and St. Paul will soon have to show proof of COVID vaccination or a recent negative COVID test in order to eat at the cities' food and drink establishments.

The mayors of both cities, during a joint press conference Wednesday afternoon, announced the new protocols, which will apply to restaurants and any other indoor establishments where food or drink is served.

The requirements, which the mayors emphasized are temporary, will go into effect on Jan. 19. Organizers of ticketed events will have until Jan. 26 to implement the new requirements. There is not a built-in expiration date for these measures in Minneapolis, but the St. Paul policy would end in 40 days without additional action.

In Minneapolis, the new requirement applies to everyone that can be vaccinated, meaning age 5 and up. A negative test will be needed for children ages 2-4. Anyone under 2 years old is exempt.

In St. Paul, all children under 5 years old are exempt from the requirement. 

"I can't emphasize this enough, this is a critical next step to avoid closure," said Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey, citing the COVID surge that is overwhelming testing sites and hospitals in the Twin Cities.

Indoor diners will have a choice of showing one of two things: 

  • Proof they have been fully vaccinated against COVID-19, meaning it's been two weeks since receiving the final dose of a vaccine series (so booster not required); or 
  • Proof of a negative PCR or antigen COVID-19 lab test from within the past 72 hours — one that is medically supervised, not an at-home test.

This rule does not apply solely to restaurants. Erik Hansen, director of economic policy and development for the City of Minneapolis, said any establishment that serves food or drink indoors will be subject to the proof of vaccination or negative test mandate.

That includes:

  • Indoor restaurants
  • Coffee shops
  • Cafes
  • Bars
  • Sports venues (such as Target Center, Xcel Energy Center)
  • Theaters
  • Bowling alleys
  • Convention centers
  • Catering halls

Other spaces will be exempt, such as retail or grocery settings, schools, hospitals, congregate care facilities, or public areas not connected to a restaurant or bar but where people happen to be eating or drinking (such as the skyway systems).

The requirements also will not apply to takeout orders.

Carter called the requirements "a tool no one ever wants to have to use," but said the "staggering increases" in case counts and ongoing concerns among health care professionals meant such a move was necessary.

"Only by working together can we hall help prevent the spread of COVID, conquer this together, and keep our economy moving forward together," Carter said. 

Establishments that don't follow the new requirements could face some sort of enforcement action, though Frey and Hansen insisted they'll look to work with  offending venues before taking other measures. Enforcement will generally be done via complaints made to 311, they said. 

"I think it's important to note too though, these requirements are built just as much to protect those same businesses that we're talking about right now, many of whom are trying to figure out how they make it through another spike," Carter said, noting everyone has to "chip in and do their part" to avoid something like a shutdown.

Frey also argued the rules provide a great opportunity for people to dine out "while being a whole lot safer."

"So you can go out to eat knowing the people around you have been vaccinated or have received a negative test within the last few days," he said. 

Sign up: Subscribe to our BREAKING NEWS newsletters

Last week, both cities brought back public face mask mandates for many indoor areas where people congregate, citing the quick spread of the omicron variant. The next day, the Minnesota Medical Association urged other cities to also issue public face mask mandates because "wearing well-fitted masks is a valuable strategy in our ongoing fight to slow the spread of COVID-19 and the highly contagious omicron variant."

Minnetonka is reportedly considering a citywide mask mandate, Duluth and Edina recently rejected such a measure, Golden Valley and Hopkins approved their own mandates, while Bloomington decided only to "encourage" mask wearing.

Gov. Tim Walz has said he's not going to issue a statewide mask mandate at this time because he doesn't believe enough people will follow it to make a difference.

Next Up

Screen Shot 2022-01-28 at 5.04.00 PM

David Arquette gives shoutout to MN's F1rst Wrestling on James Corden show

The Hollywood actor wrestled at at a F1rst Wrestling show at First Avenue in early 2019.

Best Buy - jjbers, Flickr

6 charged in Black Friday mass thefts at Twin Cities Best Buys

The group stole from three Best Buy stores that afternoon, the charges say.

Nicollet County Bell Jan 2022 4

Thieves steal large bell from rural MN church, don't get far with it

The bell was found in a ditch with tow ropes around it.

covid

COVID: More help coming to Minnesota hospitals, Walz says

More than 200 medical professionals are coming to help at short-staffed hospitals.

Screen Shot 2022-01-28 at 9.04.12 AM

Suspect arrested after falling asleep in vehicle at rest stop

The man was sleeping in a stolen vehicle in the parking lot of an I-94 rest area.

DOminos pizza flickr mr blue maumau

Charges: Edina man threatened to shoot up Domino's Pizza

He claimed a delivery driver had flipped him off, the charges say.

carvana vending machine

Carvana seeking to build vehicle vending machine in Twin Cities

The online car dealership submitted a letter of intent to buy land in the metro to build a fulfillment center.

Kwesi Adofo-Mensah

Coller: New Vikings GM Adofo-Mensah needs to be ruthless

Kwesi Adofo-Mensah needs to make some big, difficult decisions, writes Matthew Coller.

Patrick Graham

Report: Vikings to interview Giants' Patrick Graham for head coach

Graham coached with the Patriots under Bill Belichick for six years.

floor and decor screengrab

Home brand plans 'flagship' store in Maple Grove AMC Theater space

This will be the company's first Minnesota location.

covid

Minnesota's COVID-19 update for Friday, January 28

The state is still in the process of catching up with 10,000 yet-to-be processed tests.

Bryan Acuna

Twins sign 16-year-old brother of Braves star Ronald Acuna Jr.

Bryan Acuna is one of the top international prospects, according to MLB.com.

Related

pexels bar face mask covid

Vaccinated can spread omicron, so why are Twin Cities requiring diners show vax proof?

Starting next week, indoor diners in the Twin Cities will need to show proof of vaccination or a negative test.

Pexels - face mask covid holding

COVID: Minneapolis, St. Paul bring back mask mandates

The new face covering requirements go into effect Thursday.

child parent mask covid pexels

Frey backtracks on dining mandate: Kids age 2-4 won’t need test

The mayor told Chad Hartman the city is already working to change its just-announced regulation.

als breakfast facebook post

After staff got COVID, someone sent Al's Breakfast a letter mocking its vaxx requirement

"So sorry to hear your fully vaccinated staff is sick with Covid and you are forced to close," the letter begins.

basilica block party

Basilica Block Party to require proof of vaccination or negative test

The Cities 97.1 music festival announced the new policy Friday.

FLickr - vaccine COVID - SELF Magazine

Deadline for workplace COVID vaccine, testing requirements revealed

State officials are reviewing the federal rule and crafting an action plan.