Updated: February 18, 2021 05:04 PM
Created: February 18, 2021 02:39 PM
Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey announced on Thursday that he is repealing an emergency regulation that closed indoor bar areas amid steadily declining COVID-19 infection rates in Minneapolis.
In a statement, Frey's office cited ramped up vaccination efforts, four straight weeks of COVID-19 positivity rates below 5% in Minneapolis and no new outbreaks in bars or restaurants over the past week as reason enough for dialing back Emergency Regulation 2020-17, which he signed in late July.
The proclamation closed all indoor bar areas at restaurants, breweries and drinkeries to avoid congregating customers and required all patrons to eat and drink while seated at their tables. However, bar areas where people could be served food were acceptable as long as establishments kept a safe distance between parties.
"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," Frey said in a statement. "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."
The mayor said loosening restrictions will bring Minneapolis' standards for bar areas in line with the rest of the state.
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