‘Vaccine or test’ mandates take effect in Twin Cities

‘Vaccine or test’ mandates are rolling out in the Twin Cities businesses serving food and drinks and some said the different guidelines are causing confusion.

Patrons will have to show proof of vaccination against covid-19 or show a negative covid-19 test at bars and restaurants starting Jan. 19.

"I find it kind of confusing and all the changes are kind of hard to keep up on," Sam Queenan, Minnetonka resident, said. "It’s hard to navigate through that."

Some said they’re navigating Covid mandates and a wave of confusion.

"I didn’t even know there were changes between Minneapolis and St. Paul. I thought all the rules were the same for both," Zakria Ghani, St. Paul resident, said.

Minneapolis and St. Paul rolled out a ‘vaccine or test’ mandate, but some of the guidelines are different.

In both cities, customers ages 5 and up need a stamp of approval to dine in some restaurants.

Proof of vaccination or a negative covid test within 72 hours is required, but at-home tests are not applicable for testing.

In St. Paul, there’s some gray area.

Officials said only eateries with a city-issued liquor license have to follow the mandate, which means two-thirds of St. Paul restaurants are able to make their own rules.

"We’re not required because we don’t have a license by the city of St. Paul, but we’re doing it anyway just for safety," Steve Vandewater, JS Bean Factory owner, said.

JS Bean Factory is brewing their own requirements.

The owner said if customers want to dine in, they have to show proof of vaccination or a negative test.
If they’re taking coffee to go, the only requirement is to wear a mask.

It’s a decision that did not sit well with some.

"Apparently we had a guy kind of blow up with us this morning and argued with the staff and he’s been a regular customer and he didn’t like it, but then he came back a little while later and apologized," Vandewater said.

Some patrons did not mind the mandate.

"This is the first coffee shop I was sat and studied in almost two years and I’m thrilled that I can feel safe to do that," Kailee Petrosky, coffee shop patron, said.

Business owners said the best thing patrons can do is keep their documents handy just in case they need them.

"Sometimes staff gets frustrated sometimes with the changes and stuff but they’re sticking with it and they’d rather be safe than sorry," Vandewater said.

If you lost your vaccination card, you can use your smartphone to look up your records on an app called Docket or you can request a copy from the state, but it may take over a month before you get it.