Twin Cities Mayors Melvin Carter and Jacob Frey announced on Thursday to lift the COVID-19 jab or negative test requirement for restaurants, bars, and other public spaces.
The decision, effective immediately, comes after reports of a catastrophic decline for business at Minneapolis/St. Paul restaurants after enacting the mandate.
“Unfortunately when the vaccine-or-test mandate went into effect we saw a 30% drop in our Minneapolis locations overnight,” Luke Derheim, Craft and Crew Hospitality co-owner, told KTSP.
Minneapolis businesses sued Democrat Mayor Jacob Frey over his COVID-19 jab mandate a couple of weeks ago.
Business Down 40% at Restaurants in Minneapolis "Over Night" After Democrat Mayor Imposes Vaccine Passport System (VIDEO) https://t.co/wWMSJ2odTT
— Laura Ingraham (@IngrahamAngle) February 6, 2022
While reports indicate COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations in the Twin Cities are declining, the economic hardship faced by local businesses was too severe for the mayors to ignore.
In fear of political blowback, the mayors jointly rescinded their vaccine-or-test emergency regulations for restaurants, bars, and entertainment venues.
Minneapolis and St. Paul rescinded their vaccine-or-test mandates on bars and restaurants Thursday, effective immediately.https://t.co/IaG7Bj7Iea
— Alpha News (@AlphaNewsMN) February 10, 2022
Restaurants and bars in Minneapolis and Saint Paul will no longer require customers to show a vax pass or negative covid test
— Matthew H (@MattH_4America) February 10, 2022
Star Tribune reported:
Mask mandates for Minneapolis’ “areas of public accommodation” and St. Paul’s city-licensed businesses will stay in place for now.
“We always want to try and be as least invasive as possible when we’re coming from a public health perspective,” Minneapolis interim Health Commissioner Heidi Ritchie said in an interview. “We felt like in the areas where there were people who were eating and drinking and they couldn’t feasibly wear a mask, that vaccination was really the best way to keep everybody safe. At this point with the transmission rates dropping the way that they are, the hospitalization rates not as precarious as they were, we’re comfortable pulling that more invasive regulation backwards.”
The Twin Cities have been closely monitoring new cases, positivity rates, vaccination rates, hospital capacity and vaccine breakthrough cases since announcing the vaccine-or-test mandates last month.
“I wouldn’t go as far to say the numbers came down because we implemented this policy,” Carter said in an interview. “I think there’s a number of factors at play, of which I would suggest this is one of them. I think we’ll be able to evaluate a lot of that in the coming months.”
Alpha News added:
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.”
Small businesses continue to absorb the brunt of governmental overreach, and working-class citizens have had enough.