Minneapolis mayor declares emergency; bars, restaurants to be closed or have limited access

Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey has declared a local public health emergency and announced closures or limited access for bars, restaurants and other businesses on Monday in response to the threat posed by COVID-19.

The mayor’s declaration must be voted on by Minneapolis City Council within 72 hours, according to a release. The local emergency may not be continued for more than three days except by or with the consent of the city council.

Frey has requested the emergency declaration remains in effect as long as the State of Minnesota peacetime emergency declaration remains in effect.

The move comes a day after St. Paul Mayor Melvin Carter issued a local state of emergency.

“Clarity in purpose and the ability to act decisively are vital in protecting public health and effectively responding to the evolving threats posed by COVID-19,” said Frey. “Our team will remain in constant communication with leadership in city hall and partners throughout Minnesota while we work to promote mitigation strategies, deliver core city services, and deploy resources where they are needed most.”

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Frey is closing or limiting access to bars, restaurants, nightclubs and coffee shops in Minneapolis. Operations will be limited to delivery, takeout and drive-thru orders. The new rule will be effective and enforceable starting at noon Tuesday.

The city’s finance department is also finalizing a plan with Frey for the mass purchase of additional protective gear for city staff at heightened risk of exposure, the mayor said. He’s also been in direct contact with the Hennepin County Sheriff’s Office regarding eviction enforcement in Minneapolis.

The local emergency declaration will allow Minneapolis Emergency Management to request and coordinate aid and resources from jurisdictional partners.

Other executive actions made available under the local emergency declaration include:

  • Executing contracts on behalf of the city to meet urgent public health needs outside of the city council’s legislative cycle,
  • Swiftly implementing rules and regulations to limit the number of people congregating in a location or building,
  • Immediately directing and supervising the administration of all city departments,
  • Authorizing aid and assistance under local or inter-jurisdictional response or recovery plans.

However, the local emergency declaration does not supersede state or federal law.

For more information on the declaration, click here.

You can track more disruptions due to COVID-19 here.