Minneapolis and St. Paul rescinded their vaccine-or-test mandates on bars and restaurants Thursday, effective immediately.
The cities cited a significant decrease in COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations. In Ramsey County, where St. Paul is located, COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations have dropped by 57.8% and 37.8% in the last seven days, respectively.
“We are grateful to be in a different place now than we were when this requirement first took effect,” said St. Paul Mayor Melvin Carter.
The vaccine mandates took effect Jan. 19 and were met with criticism from restaurant industry leaders, who said bars and restaurants were once again being singled out.
Case rates in Minneapolis have been dropping “rapidly and steadily,” according to the mayor’s office. The current seven-day new case rate is 499 per 100,000 people, compared to 1,300 per 100,000 people when the vaccine mandate took effect.
“Key public health metrics are trending in the right direction,” said Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey. “That is a welcomed sign for Minneapolis, especially for the small businesses and restaurants that have shouldered the weight of this pandemic.”
Both cities will keep their mask mandates in place.